East School, home away from home for generations of Springfield students, up for sale
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | February 19,2013
Springfield’s East School.
SPRINGFIELD — East School, a 1920 brick icon to generations of Springfield kids from the east side of town, is on the market, finally.
Several years after townspeople voted to put the aging school up for sale, the Springfield School Board has listed the school with Select Board member David Yesman, a real estate agent with Century 21 Energy Shield Realty of Lebanon, N.H.
The asking price is $150,000, for the large, two-story, 12,300 square foot building, along with 2 1/2 acres of land on Summer Street.
“It’s a nice location,” said Yesman, who said he got the exclusive listing from the Springfield School Board by simply asking for it. He said his involvement was not a conflict of interest, despite being a Springfield elected official.
He said East School would be listed with the multiple-listing service, which would give the property wide exposure. The official listing describes the school as a “substantial structure” and that it is being sold in “as is” condition.
Yesman said the market for large school buildings in need of repair was pretty stagnant, and he pointed to two schools for sale in the Rutland region, which haven’t sold despite being on the market for more than a year. The former Dana School was put on the market in 2012 for $209,500, Yesman said.
Scott Adnams, chairman of the Springfield School Board, said the board came up with the price for the school with an independent appraisal, and the board discussed it also with Yesman.
“Our ultimate goal is to sell the building,” said Adnams, who said that the School Board thought it had someone in line to buy the building last spring, but “it fell through.”
The school, which hasn’t been used for elementary students for a number of years, most recently housed the Gateway Program for the school district. Gateway students now used the Nolin-Murray Center, owned by St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Springfield.
Yesman said the building, which is zoned medium density residential, could be converted to apartments, a day care center or even storage. “It could be offices too,” said Yesman, refusing to guess how much money would be needed to convert the building. “A lot of money,” would be needed, is all he would say.
“It’s a nice location,” said Yesman last week, giving a reporter and photographer a tour of the building, which still bears murals and art work from students. There’s even a little graffiti: “Middle school is worse than Meatloaf.”
Down in the basement are the remnants of a small school cafeteria, along with the two 1986 boilers that heat the building from a 10,000-gallon oil tank. On the two floors above, a central hall bisects the building, with large classrooms, some still sporting old green chalkboards, flanking both sides of the hall. There are smaller rooms that were used for offices by the principal, school nurse, or teachers, Yesman said.
One of the first things Yesman said that needed attention are the windows, which need new, energy efficient double pane windows.