Walworth County, developer agree on sale of old school

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Ted Sullivan
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
— Walworth County has agreed to sell the old Lakeland School building for $400,000 to a Chicago man who plans to use the property for senior housing.

The building on 8 acres at 504 W. Court St. in Elkhorn will be sold to Ming L. Wang, a Chicago-based developer, Deputy County Administrator Shane Crawford said.

The school will be remodeled and used for assisted living, nursing care and daytime care for the elderly, he said.

The Walworth County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the sale.

“It was the highest bid by a long shot,” County Administrator Dave Bretl told the supervisors.

The sale puts $400,000 in the county’s pocket, rather than spending $600,000 to $900,000 to raze and remove the school, Crawford said.

The reason it would have been so expensive to remove the school was because the county would have had to pay for demolition and the removal of hazardous materials, he said.

“Who knows how much it would have cost to take down?” board chair Nancy Russell said after the meeting. “There was asbestos in the building because it was so old.”

The building will be put to good use by providing housing for the county’s senior residents, she said.

“I definitely think there is a need for those types of facilities,” Russell said. “It allows people to remain independent for a lot longer.”

The county advertised the building for sale, placed signs in front of the school and put together a proposal to sell the building, Crawford said.

It considered all proposals to buy the property, but Wang offered the highest amount, he said.

The county also liked that Wang planned to use the building for senior housing, Crawford said.

“The county and the buyer are in a win-win situation,” he said.

Lakeland School’s new $18 million building, located at 3905 County NN, Elkhorn, opened in July for summer school. The new 109,900-square-foot building is on 15 acres.

The sale of the old Lakeland School is scheduled to close Wednesday, Aug. 13.

The buyer will need a permit from the city of Elkhorn to use the school for senior housing.

It is unknown when the assisted living facility will open, but the buyer has indicated he wants to begin remodeling right away, Crawford said.

Last updated: 10:03 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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