Long Beach Island Grade School Still for Sale
The start of the school year in the Long Beach Island Consolidated School District featured a few changes – the pre-kindergarten and third grade switched buildings, and the Board of Education office moved from the Ethel Jacobsen Elementary School in Surf City to the LBI School in Ship Bottom – but there has been no change in regard to the sale of the LBI School, which has been on the market for a year.
“It’s status quo,” school board President Allyn Kain said last Friday. “People do call now and then,” but this has not led to any serious movement toward a purchase of the property.
The school was put on the market in early October 2011; the property required a minimum bid of $9.5 million, but the district did not receive any bids by its deadline. In the months following, according to Superintendent Karen McKeon, the board of education met with prospective buyers, but with no result.
Last year, the school board authorized selling the LBI School, in Ship Bottom, “through public auction or negotiations as well as the solicitation of a commercial realtor,” as stated in the resolution for the sale. The board’s intention is to sell that school and subsequently renovate and expand the Ethel A. Jacobsen School in Surf City, which will then house all of the district’s approximately 238 students, from Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom and Surf City. (Beach Haven has its own school for kindergarten through sixth grade in that borough.)
The project – which is self-funded and not a referendum – was recommended in a feasibility study conducted by LAN Associates, commissioned by the board after consideration of declining enrollment in the district.
If the district enters into a contract for the sale of the LBI School property, the architectural firm Dicara Rubino will design an addition to the E.J. School based on the amount of the transaction.
As school began this September, faculty, staff and parents were managing the move of the pre-kindergarteners to the E.J. School and the third-graders to the LBI School – unrelated to the sale of the property – so that the former now houses pre-K to second grade, and the latter third through sixth grade. —J.K.-H.