North Olmsted City Schools auctioning off old High School items
By John Benson, special to cleveland.com
NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio - Going once, going twice, sold. That's what's currently taking place with the North Olmsted City Schools' online auction of items from the old High School, which is set for demolition this fall.
Everything from a piano and school vehicles to desks, tables and commercial kitchen equipment is up for grabs to the highest bidder this summer.
"The Board of Education decided to auction off old and unwanted items in order make them available to the public in a fair and equitable way," North Olmsted City Schools Superintendent Michael E. Zalar said. "We can't simply give things away to people.
"We have to notify the public and make sure everyone has the same opportunity. Hosting an auction is the most democratic way to ensure everyone has access to the items being discarded. It also generates a little money for the district that can be used for future supplies and equipment."
North Olmsted City Schools Director of Business Services Michael McDade said the auction is a cost-savings move. Considering the new High School features all new furniture and finishes, this means the old building needs to be cleaned out before demolition can begin.
That's where the Brooklyn-based Auction Factory stepped in to not only sell more than 1,400 items online, taking a 45 percent cut in proceeds, but also helping the district with clearing out the school.
"Auction Factory came in, took pictures of everything and is doing all of the legwork, including counting items and taking the money," McDade said.
"There are a lot of things that truthfully might have just been thrown out, so saving pennies on the dollar is better than calling in a trash hauler and a disposal unit that has to be picked up and hauled off to a landfill. We're giving the opportunity for somebody to come in and buy it."
Currently the old North Olmsted High School online auction is taking place in phases with each ending on different dates. McDade said so far the district has sold more than $25,000 worth of items. As for what the school will be doing with the items not sold, McDade said he's unsure of the plan.
"I've been extremely pleased with the amount of interest shown from the public," Zalar said. "We've had quite a few people register online and make bids on items. This is a win-win for both the schools and the community."