By Kevin Kelley
You can put a basketball backboard and hoop from the main gymnasium of Westlake High School up in your driveway – if the price is right.
The Westlake City Schools is auctioning off surplus equipment, such as furniture and sinks, from Westlake High School, which will be demolished this summer. A new high school, now being constructed on the same property, will open this fall.
The auction, which will take place online, begins June 3 and runs through June 12. John Froelich, a northern Ohio auctioneer, is running the sale. Items can be viewed and bid on at clevelandonlineauctions.com, which includes a photo and description of each item.
The district will also open a new middle school for students in grades 7 and 8 this fall, as the current Lee Burneson Middle School will be renovated for use as an intermediate school. However, most of the items up for bid in the online auction will be from the high school.
As of a week ago, 850 items had already been tagged for the auction, said Dave Kocevar, the district’s director of business affairs. More than 1,000 items will likely be up for sale when the auction begins, he added.
“There’s a little bit of something for everybody here,” he said.
The auction includes items for both commercial resellers and scrappers, as well as former students looking of mementos, such as the basketball backboard, Kocevar said. For example, student desks will be sold both individually and in lots of up to 1,000, he noted.
Items up for bid include cabinets, stainless steel countertops, commercial ovens from the cafeteria, and backup generators and pumps. Old appliances, such as a washer, a dryer and an electric range oven, all from the school’s home economics classroom, will be available. Gymnasium bleachers, a pottery kiln and old sets of encyclopedias will be sold as well.
No computers or televisions are being sold in the auction, Kocevar said.
No reserve prices have been set for any items, Kocevar said, and no estimate has been made of the total value of items up for bid. Proceeds from the auction will go to the district’s capital projects fund, which, by law, is separate from the operations fund that pays for items such as teacher salaries.
A print advertisement for the auction states that “the quality of the items in this auction are second to none. Most of the items in the auction are in very good, if not nearly new, condition.”
Kocevar explained that a description of “new” by the auctioneer means that the item may be in good shape for the age of the item. But it doesn’t mean the item would be useful in the new school building, he said. Administrators from the district’s other buildings have been given the option of taking any surplus items for their schools if they needed them, Kocevar added.
At least a couple hundred student desks and dozens of other pieces of furniture will be saved for use in the new high school, Kocevar said. Seventy percent, of student desks, or nearly 500, from Lee Burneson Middle School will be saved for the new building, he added. Furniture at the middle school is in better condition, he explained.
“We’re trying to utilize as much of our current equipment that is in good shape as is possible,” the district’s business manager said.
The majority of the high school’s library holdings and all curriculum materials will be moved to the new high school, Kocevar said.
Items that receive no bids will either be scrapped for recycling or stored for possible sale at a later date, Kocevar said.