PAXTON — A live auction is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 13, at PBL Eastlawn School, giving the public a chance to buy any items remaining in the school after the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district and Ford County Historical Society pick out what items they want to salvage.
The PBL school board’s buildings and grounds committee agreed Monday night to recommend the full board approve the scheduling of the auction during its next meeting on Wednesday, April 10.
In the months prior to the auction, the school district is expected to choose which items in the school to keep, which items to donate to the historical society and which items to sell at the auction, which will be conducted inside the school by local auctioneer Brad Strebeck.
Almost everything that is not retained will be up for bidding, with the exception of items that either contain asbestos or threaten to expose asbestos if they were to be removed.
People have already been asking district officials about acquiring various items from the school — the district’s oldest at 94 years old — including old doors, old trophies and photos, and other memorabilia.
The building served as Paxton High School from 1925 to 1965 and then as a junior high school until 2005, when it became PBL Eastlawn School. The school will be torn down this fall after its third- through fifth-graders move into a 63,400-square-foot addition being built on Clara Peterson Elementary School’s east side.
The district plans to keep some historically significant items from the school, including limestone signage for Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School that is currently underneath the metal PBL Eastlawn School sign; concrete gargoyles on the front of the building; 400-plus clean bricks from the building; cornerstones on the building; and a 10-by-10-foot section of the gym’s floor.
The district also intends to keep various athletic and FFA trophies currently kept in the school’s basement, as well as some old school photos, an old diploma and various other memorabilia.
Some items retained by the district will be put on display and others put in storage.
The section of gym floor to be salvaged could be divided into smaller pieces that can be sold to community members as “keepsakes,” Superintendent Cliff McClure said. The clean bricks could also be sold in a similar fashion, McClure said.
Other items, yet to be determined, will be donated to the historical society.
Board member Shawn Young suggested the district open up the school for one day about a week prior to the auction to allow the community to see first-hand what items will be available for bidding. A bill of sale is expected to be available to the public in early June.
Young also suggested that the district require that any items sold at the auction be removed by the bidder within a week or two after the auction.
Everything needs to be removed from the school by Aug. 23, three days before asbestos abatement is to begin. After asbestos abatement is complete around the end of October, demolition will begin on the structure, with a final completion date of Dec. 20.
Voters approved a $30 million referendum in the November 2016 election to give the school district the funds it needed to build the addition to Clara Peterson Elementary School and tear down PBL Eastlawn School.