A pedestrian bridge at the former Northwest Elementary School is coming down this week.
That means motorists will have to avoid the former school on North 10th Street, aka Route 72 South. The roadway will be closed to vehicles beginning today, Oct. 18, through Friday, Oct. 22, to make way for demolition and removal of the bridge.
Mayor Sherry Capello said in a statement last Friday that the city recommends using 12th Street as an alternate route until the work is completed. Additionally, Capello said, “no parking” signs have been posted on 12th Street between Maple and Cumberland streets this week to give motorists — including tractor-trailer drivers — sufficient space to navigate.
The city-owned parking lot at 10th and Water streets will also be closed this week.
A dispute over ownership of the bridge had delayed for months the sale of the former school property. According to a previous report, a 3-way agreement that clears the way for the sale and commercial development of the old Northwest Elementary School on Lebanon’s north side was approved by Judge Bradford H. Charles at a court hearing in September.
Read More: Deal clears way for sale, development of old school on city’s north side
An agreement was signed in late September by the city, the Lebanon School District, and buyer/developer Quartz Creek Holdings LLC. The pact included a sale price of $900,000, subject to adjustments for the cost of removing the bridge, which is to be shared in varying amounts by the three parties.
Pennsylvania law requires court approval to sell school property to private parties, to assure that full market value is paid. A spokesman for the district said the property had been appraised and that, despite its being listed for sale since 2018, there were no other offers to buy it.
The old school at 9th and Maple streets opened in 1976 and has been empty since its replacement opened at the end of the 2017-18 school year at 1315 Old Forge Road.
Read More: Northwest Elementary School served many in its 42-year history
The sale means the property will go back on the city, county, and school district tax rolls for the first time in over 40 years.
The estimated cost of demolition is $200,000. The school district is expected to reduce the sale price by $175,000 to cover the bulk of that cost, and the city has agreed to contribute an additional $20,000.
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