PAXTON — In preparation for tearing down PBL Eastlawn School, the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district will be auctioning off practically everything inside the 94-year-old school building on Saturday.
Starting at 9 a.m., local auctioneer Brad Strebeck will be taking bids from the public for items ranging from industrial food equipment to desks, tables and chairs, lockers, book shelves, antique doors, old trophies, band equipment, sports equipment, theater seats and antique classroom maps.
“Brad Strebeck has a very thorough list of the items that will be up for auction” on his website, www.strebeckauctions.com, said PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure.
In addition to the lengthy list of items to be auctioned inside the school, the school district is also accepting bids Saturday for a 2011 Dodge van, a 2000 GMC truck and a 10-by-12-foot storage shed, McClure said.
From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, the public will have an opportunity to visit the school at 341 E. Center St. in Paxton to preview the many items to be sold.
“This is a chance for you to inspect all items for sale, ask questions about items and to walk the hallways,” Strebeck said on his website.
The auction will be held inside the school, with an auctioneer moving from room to room as items in each room are sold. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check or credit card with valid photo identification.
A lunch stand will be open in the building as the auction is held, and restrooms will be open.
Buyers will have two hours after the auction is over to start removing items they purchase. After that, buyers will be given two weeks to remove any items remaining they have bought. All items left in the building after 2:30 p.m. July 26 will be disposed of and no longer available for removal by the public, and no refunds will be given.
“It is the buyers’ responsibility to come prepared to remove all of their items within the removal time allowed,” Strebeck said on his website. There will be no school district staff on hand to assist, McClure noted.
According to McClure, Strebeck has indicated he believes a sizeable crowd will be on hand at the final public event to be held at the school prior to its demolition this fall.
But one person who does not plan to go is Paxton resident Jolen Anya Minetz, who has been working with nonprofit groups to save PBL Eastlawn School from the wrecking ball.
“Even if I wasn’t so involved in trying to save the building, I would have a hard time attending the auction,” Minetz said. “On the one hand, it would be great to have a memento from the school where my grandmother was part of the first graduating class, but on the other hand, I don’t think I could stomach watching the guts torn out of such a beautiful and historically significant building and getting sold to the highest bidder. It just doesn’t feel right; the building should be left intact so that future generations can enjoy and appreciate it.”