Bids are being received for the purchase of Hillcrest School, 1810 Macopin Road, with proposals to be submitted at the Office of the Business Administrator at 46 Highlander Drive.
The Board of Education has set the minimum acceptable bid at $250,000.
Bidders have three options.
Under Option One the buyer will take possession of all property at the location except that identified in specifications that include a parking lot, under which a portion of the property exclusive to the sale, including a parking lot and recreation fields, will be subdivided and remain the property of the BOE.
Option Two allows the bidder to purchase the entire parcel, including the parking lot and recreation fields, with the purchase subject to a perpetual easement to be held by the BOE to allow for access to the parking lot and recreation fields by the board, West Milford Township, West Milford Recreation Department, and members of the West Milford community.
Option Three allows the bidder to also bid on the entire property, including the parking lot and recreation fields with the purchase subject to a restriction under which the successful bidder agrees to subdivide the property so that the athletic field is separated and subsequently donated back to the BOE as fee simple ownership.
The successful bidder would have to agree to place an easement over the parking lot, held by the board to allow access to the parking lot and fields by the board, township, Recreation Department and members of the West Milford community.
Under this option, the successful bidder retains title to the Hillcrest building and parking lot, but not the athletic field.
The easement would remain in place in perpetuity or until deemed no longer necessary at the Board’s discretion, subject to official board action of termination.
The BOE reserved the right to choose any of the three options, and reserves the right to waive any irregularity in the bidding process if it is in its best interest to do so.
The property consists of 7.75 acres
Exploration about benefits of selling the vacant building has been underway since 2017 when former BOE President James Foody said the building shouldn’t be left to sit empty and decay.
It was reported then that a sale could put the property back on the tax rolls.
Foody preferred a long term lease in order to keep the BOE involved through ownership.
No one bought the building and another attempt for a sale is being made.
The township’s first consolidated school was built in 1946 to replace remaining one and two room rural schools left from the 1930s and before.
It was shut down when the township ended a 25-year lease.
The building had been used as a community center and various other purposes.