AASD votes not to list Kimmel building for sale at this time

The Altoona Area School Board decided — for now — not to list the William P. Kimmel Alternative School building for sale.

Board President John Donley said there has been discussion on several options for new Kimmel School locations, “but nothing has been decided at this point,” he said.

Superintendent Charles Prijatelj had been in discussions with Pacifico Bakery owners to exchange the Kimmel building for the bakery site. The bakery site at 1208 Fifth Ave., and the whole block where it sits, is too small to be the site of the board’s planned high school building, architects said. But the property could have other uses, according to Prijatelj.

The vote was 6-2 on Monday, with Donley and Bill Ceglar voting to list it. Board Vice President Sharon Bream, Dutch Brennan, John Klingeman, Wayne Hippo, Dick Lockard and Judy Berryman voted against it. Ron Johnston abstained from the vote because his brother works for the realty company that would have handled the listing.

Donley said the board didn’t have to sell the building; the intention was only to list it to find its worth.

“The whole purpose of listing Kimmel for now, in my opinion, is to determine what the true fair market value of the property is. I do believe the board will consider listing the property in the future.”

Hippo said he voted against listing it because he wanted to plan in advance where the school’s few dozen students would be moved.

“I want to sell it,” he said. “I’m just concerned about where the students would be moved.”

The board also voted Monday to approve the closing date on the Wright Building for March 30, 2018. By that time, all final documents will be signed, and the building will be owned by the Nehemiah Project. The board sold the building to the Nehemiah Project in June for $140,000.

The Nehemiah Project’s history in the school district includes operating the school district’s Mountain Lion BackPack Program that feeds children on weekends.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.