DUNKERTON | As plans move forward for a new addition at Dunkerton Community School, the last days of the building’s oldest section are looming.
But there is still time to own a piece of the 96-year-old structure. Bricks can be reserved and auditorium seats purchased. In fact, anything former students or others nostalgic about the aging school are interested in can be had for a price.
“We’ve had a lot of people asking,” said Superintendent Jim Stanton, if they could get mementos from the building.
Seats from the third-floor auditorium can be bought now for $35 each. “But you have to buy a whole row,” he said, of 12 to 20 seats at a cost of $420 to $700. Once purchased, they can be divided into smaller groupings.
Other items will be for sale during an April 7 auction.
“Anything else that’s left in the building will be auctioned at that time,” said Stanton. But entire rooms and all their contents will be put on the auction block, a la the A&E network’s “Storage Wars.” “You bid on the room and whatever’s in the room you get.”
That means student and teacher desks, tables, chairs, blackboards and whiteboards. But it also includes doors, woodwork, cabinetry, microwaves, ovens, sinks and even the building’s elevator.
After the auction, successful bidders have five days to get items out of the school. Anything left behind will be part of the demolition. Reserved bricks will be available once the building is razed.
The Board of Education is planning a $1 million bond sale in February or March. That is part of the $6 million bond issue approved by district voters in September to fund the demolition and a two-story 24,000-square-foot addition on the same spot. Bonds will be repaid through property tax revenues.
The project will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by Christmas 2019.
“This $1 million will be enough to get us started on the project,” said Stanton, noting the remaining $5 million would be sold a year later. The board will also seek bids on the demolition and construction in February, with contracts awarded in March or April.
Total project cost is estimated at $5.8 million for demolition, construction and other expenses like design fees. Demolition is expected to account for about $300,000 to $350,000 of the total.