OAKLAND — A centuries-old school house on Church Street that was previously the focus of a restoration effort is up for sale after town officials said it would be too costly to try to rehabilitate the building.

Members of the Town Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to put the Old School House at 97 Church St. up for sale. It is listed with Brokewood Realty for $27,000.

The Oakland Area Historical Society has tried at least twice to raise the money to repair the building, but its most recent effort was deterred by the discovery of lead paint and asbestos in the building, said historical society member Kelly Roderick.

The town hasn’t used the building, which dates to around 1804, for years, though in its lifetime it has served as a school, fire station and storage space.

In 2013, Norman Vigue, who owns property next to the building, entered into a contract with the town whereby he would maintain the outside of the building and could use it for storage, said Oakland Town Manager Gary Bowman.

Bowman said Vigue breached the contract and a public hearing was held in 2016 to determine the building’s future. Town councilors at the time voted to terminate the lease with Vigue, maintain town possession of the school house and work with the historical society to get it painted.


But Roderick, of the historical society, said the task proved overwhelming. She said it was hard to get grant funding for the paint and repairs because the building is not being used for its original purpose.

“They didn’t have the means, so it kind of came back into our lap again,” Bowman said. “We decided the best thing to do is sell it, because we don’t want to maintain it. It has no value to the town. We haven’t used it for years.”

Both Vigue, and Karla Carey, who also owns property next door to the school house, said Friday they would be interested in purchasing it.

“Whoever offers the most amount of money is going to own the thing, and the town is going to walk away from the ownership,” Bowman said. “It’s probably going to be one of those two neighbors that end up buying it, but if someone else from the public or out of town wants to buy it, then so be it.”

He said the historical value of the building is minimal.

“It’s been gutted,” he said. “The outside is in really bad shape. The inside has a dirt floor. There’s no remnants of a school house on the inside. It’s had old, antique fire apparatuses stored in there. It really doesn’t. It’s going to take so much money to bring it back just to make it usable.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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