The North Bend Eagle



Board votes to purchase Birchwood

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/7/19

The North Bend Central Board of Education held a special meeting Aug. 5. The only topic of the meeting was the purchase of Birchwood Manor and property at 1120 Walnut Street just south of the high school for $200,000. The price was decided upon at the July 15 special board meeting and has been agreed to by Birchwood owner Pamela Quinn.

With 10 people in the audience, the meeting began with the public having an opportunity to speak.
Morse Bluff area resident Marilyn Odvody stepped forward opposing the purchase. She relayed several rumors she had heard as to the cost being $600,000, asbestos removal being an added expense. She feared they would just tear it down, and it would end up costing over $1 million.

No one else spoke during the public hearing.

Superintendent Dan Endorf spoke about future use.

“It’s a similar situation to where we were a few years ago on the east side of the elementary school,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to buy land that is connected to what we already have, for the possibility of future endeavors. That could be a variety of things, none of which is firm by any stretch of the imagination.”

Board member Francis Emanuel said that the seller, Quinn, approached the school after she was unable to find a buyer in the long-term care field.

“We have the money is the building fund,” Emanuel said. “It may slow down some other renovations projects, but that may be all right. We will not need to borrow money or have a bond issue. We’d avoid running out of land.”

Brainstorming ideas, board president Dan Wesely said they could use the land for a preschool, after school program, administration offices, shop or a bus barn site.

“If we would take in more students we would need more facilities,” Wesely said. “This is a facility that is already there. It’s a possibility. Try to look into the future a little bit.”

Board member Justin Taylor said he thought they should demolish the building right away, after the present owner sells off the contents.

Board member Jeff Bauer said someone has already expressed an interest to use the brick for riffraff in the dikes

After discussion among the board, it voted to move forward to purchase the land for the set price using monies in the building fund.

The meeting adjourned at 8:26. p.m.


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