The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 4, 2013

New Berlin borough now owns elementary school building

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

— NEW BERLIN — They’ve got the whole school in their hands.

New Berlin borough is the new owner of the former elementary school property, the purchase from the Mifflinburg Area School District having closed Dec. 28, said Juli Finkbiner, Borough Council president.

With the keys in New Berlin’s hands, the property came off the school district’s books before the end of 2012 as the Mifflinburg school board had hoped.

In late August, the borough offered $244,000 to the district for the elementary school, which closed in June. The school board, which first had decided to go with an unsolicited bid of $240,000 for the property, accepted the offer in September.

There are no immediate plans for the building or property, Finkbiner said, other than keeping the inside warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing.

The oil in the tanks came as part of the deal, and Finkbiner said there should be more than enough to last through the winter.

“We really don’t have a plan at this point for when or what to do” with the property, she said. “We’d love to have people come and give us ideas, and we’ll likely solicit proposals.”

The council meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the community center and invites the public to attend and offer ideas for the school.

“We’ll talk about details of the close and make it part of public record,” Finkbiner said, “maybe even talk about advertising something” to those who might want to use the space.

Other than the borough plowing a fire lane to the building, there is little upkeep necessary at the moment.

“A ton of people were over there Saturday sledding, and I saw them again over the holiday,” Finkbiner said. “It’s kinds of nice over Christmas with the kids there.”