Church offers winning bid for Brick School
Warren — The former Warren school that has been at the center of a controversy over a proposed methadone clinic since 2010 sold at auction Jan. 23 to the neighboring Warren Baptist Church.
The church bid $100,500 for the property at 44 School St. known as the Brick School.
The winning bid came less than 30 minutes into the auction following some back-and-forth bids from Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
Auctioneer Thomas Saturley, on behalf of Tranzon Auction Properties of Portland, suggested starting the bidding at $100,000. Upon no response from the bidders, he sought an opening bid.
Thomaston Place Auction Galleries offered $50,000 and the battle ensued.
The property was sold as is, where is, with no warranty.
Bob Emery, who had a purchase-and-sale agreement to buy the property in 2010 and planned to lease it to CRC Health Group for a methadone clinic, was in attendance, but did not place a bid.
"This was very emotional for me," said Emery at the conclusion of the auction. "I was trying to help a lot of people," he said, adding, "but my mother goes to this church as well."
Peter Armstrong, a trustee of the church, said they were not sure what they were going to do with the property.
"We have some ideas, but we need to look back and see what we want to do," said Armstrong. "We had some good cheerleaders here today," he said of a couple supporters from the church.
The auction resolves the legal dispute over the property, though the town still faces a lawsuit from CRC over its inability to gain approval for a clinic in the town.
After deducting Tranzon's marketing costs, the sale proceeds of $97,850 will be distributed as follows: the town will receive 40 percent or $39,140 while Vixen Land Holdings will receive 60 percent or $58,710.
The settlement agreement fully and finally resolves that legal dispute, and states that "no party admits any wrongdoing."
The 200-year-old Warren Baptist Church has more than 120 members.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.