NEW CASTLE School board takes bids on historical homes to be moved

School officials are making plans to raze the homes that are not being moved.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- New Castle school officials agreed to sell five historical homes that will be moved.
School board members accepted bids of $1 each for 214 and 220 Lincoln Ave. and 318 and 322 East St. from the Greater New Castle Development Corporation and a $12 bid for 322 Reis St. from James Meehan.
Two bids of $25 each from John Norris of West Clayton Street for stockade fencing at 220 Lincoln Ave. and the garage at 321 Reis St. were rejected because Norris submitted a personal check and not a certified check with his bid.
Moving deadline: School officials say Meehan and the city's CDC have until Nov. 30 to move the houses to new locations and fill the holes. Delays would have to go back to the school board for approval and be contingent on not delaying a high school building project.
The district had planned to raze several homes on Reis, Lincoln and East streets and Berger Place to make way for a new high school.
Those plans were delayed when two businessmen asked to move the homes to new locations. School board members rejected an earlier set of bids from the businessmen when they decided they didn't have enough money to move the houses.
The second set of bids were opened Monday and accepted at Wednesday's school board meeting.
Estimated cost: CDC officials estimate it will cost $590,000 to move four homes to Grant Street where they will become a cul-de-sac business district. The homes will be sold to area businesses in an effort to spur economic development.
Meehan said he plans to move his new house to 131 E. Lincoln Ave. next to his funeral home. The house will be rented and eventually sold, he said.
Superintendent Joseph Martin said board members will move forward with plans to demolish six of the 14 buildings that need to be cleared to make room for the new high school, but no timetable has been set.
Demolition pact: Board members did approve a contract with Siegel Excavating of New Castle to demolish two of the homes near the city high school that were damaged by fire last month. Siegel will be paid $10,200 to raze 222 E. Lincoln Ave. and 321 Reis St.
Siegel will also be paid $3,900 to demolish the high school band shelter at Taggart Stadium which was destroyed by fire last spring.
Business manager Marie Pisano said they should start demolishing the band shelter sometime today and the two homes Sunday. It will take about three days to clear both areas, she said.

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