ORLEANS TOWNSHIP — The halls of Threshold Academy will once again be filled today, but not for the original purpose of educating young students.
Rather, visitors will be attending an auction with the option to purchase the last remaining items contained within the school from classroom to classroom.
From the numerous books that remain on the shelves to the empty desks sitting stacked on the gymnasium floor, everything is up for auction in the school that closed its doors June 30 after 17 years of instructing students rom kindergarten through fifth grade.
Central Michigan University’s Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools decided to end its contract with the Orleans school earlier this year after stating the school was “unable to significantly improve its performance … and meet the student academic goals contained in the contract.”
Now, in order to pay off remaining fund balances, EightCAP Inc., which operated the school, has commissioned an auction set to begin at 10 a.m. today in order to both clear the building of its contents and raise funds to pay remaining balances.
“The proceeds will be rolled into Threshold’s operating budget,” EightCAP Inc. President Dan Petersen said. “At this point, expenses for Threshold include ordinary bills and expenses as well as the costs of closing the school and dissolution. If there are any funds in excess of Threshold’s obligations, they will be sent to the state.”
The building itself is also for sale or lease. EightCAP Inc. holds a mortgage on Threshold’s building and land in the amount of $542,980, according to EightCap Governing Board meeting minutes.
According to retail advisor Bob Lotzar of Grand Rapids, the building, situated on 14.87 acres at 5827 Orleans Road, is being offered at a sale price of $612,240. The 20,408 square foot building can be leased at a price of $5 per square foot per year.
The auction is being handled by Merritt Auctions of Greenville. According to Doug Merritt, everything from the playground equipment to classroom necessities is available for purchase.
“Whatever you see in there, it’s available. This is a very large auction with some great articles including classroom and office furniture, books and learning materials, office supplies and more.” he said. “It starts at 10 a.m. and will go until the last item is sold.”
Merritt said items within the school range from office and school furniture to electronics and appliances, restaurant equipment and unique collectibles and learning aides.
Items purchased in today’s auction will be available for pickup on Wednesday.