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Center School buyer backs away


A proposed sale of Center School fell through Monday night.

The school district had prepared a sales contract, and just after Superintendent Paul Turner explained the details of the sales agreement to the Grand Coulee Dam School District board of directors, the prospective buyer backed out.

Elijah Kleimenov, owner of Kleim Construction in Moses Lake, Wash., had expressed reservations to The Star earlier in the day.

He told the board that he wasn’t ready to commit to the sale. Kleimenov stated that his numbers showed that it would cost him almost as much to bring Center School up to code as it would to build a new building.

The district was prepared for the sale Monday night and was surprised that the deal fell apart at the last minute at the regular meeting of the school board.

The district and Kleimenov had been working on the sale for several months. In early summer, Kleimenov had appeared before Grand Coulee’s planning commission to try to get a feeling of what might be done with the old school building and the 8.5 acres it sits on.

Turner read portions of the sales agreement to the board, and the district was prepared to sell it for $150,000.

The district purchased the building and site from Continental Land Company in October 2014, for $155,000. An appraisal at the time came in at $190,000.

During the years that the school has been vacant there have been numerous incidents of vandalism.

Kleimenov’s firm specializes in water and fire restoration work.

The prospective buyer left himself a little wiggle room in stating that he “wasn’t prepared” to move forward with the sale, suggesting that the sale price might be too high.

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