CLINTON — The Clinton School District is the new owner of the Hancock Fabrics building located at 431 Seventh Ave. South and will become the home for the district’s maintenance department.

That department was housed in the old Irving School located in South Clinton. That building was sold to Archer Daniel Midland Co. for its plant expansion. ADM took possession of that property Jan. 1, 2006.

According to Clinton School District Superintendent Randy Clegg, the purchase price was $295,000. The school board approved the purchase during a closed session on July 9. This was the second offer to be made on the property by the school board. The district took possession of the property last week.

The building will go through some renovations before the maintenance department can move in.

“First order of business is it needs a new roof,” Clegg told the Clinton Herald. “We’ll have some demolition work inside that our guys will be doing and we’ll want to pull out the asbestos floor tile.”

Clegg anticipates it will be a couple of months before they can start moving in.

“But we’re looking forward to getting all of our stuff under one roof.”

The maintenance department has been at loose ends since it moved out of Irving School.

When the Irving property was sold the plan was to construct a maintenance department and warehouse on the property currently housing the district’s transportation department, which is located on U.S. 30 west of Clinton.

But that plan came to a sudden halt last October when the Camanche School Board directed Superintendent Tom Parker to look into options to get the Clinton district to move off the property.

Camanche filed a petition with the Clinton County Clerk’s Office in early March stating the ownership of the land by the Clinton School District to be unlawful and outside the proper authority of the Clinton School District. That matter has not been solved.

With no place to go, Clegg started looking at other available properties but none fit the district’s needs or budget.

According to Clegg, they have maintenance supplies stored all over town.

“Dave Rose has been generous in loaning the district space for storage,” Clegg noted.

“We also have several storage pods that we’ve rented and everything is just kind of squirreled away,” he continued.

“We have stuff stored at Jefferson so its at different places around the district.”

Clegg believes that his new site will become a permanent base of operation.

“While we’ve been dealing with these other issues, construction costs have escalated dramatically,” he explained.

“It is no longer within our reach (to build). The loss of PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) makes it very limited to what we can do — that’s almost nothing.”

ADM paid the district $450,000 for Irving school and Clegg says they are trying to stay within that budget but he doesn’t think that will be easy.

The new facility will provide space for the district carpenter, painter, plumber and space for the plant services director and his secretary. But it will be used as a warehouse.

There is more than enough space in the parking lot for the fleet of maintenance vehicles but Clegg says they do not plan to park their vehicles there until they are able to build on enclosed structure — attached to the building.

“Right now our goal is to get the building usable and start moving our stuff in and reorganizing,” he said.

“We bought it, we own it as of last week, we’ve been looking at it close now going on six months,” he concluded.

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