“It was time to move on,” Selectmen’s Chairman Everett McBride Jr. said earlier this fall.
Hickey has said it cost the town about $25,000 a year to heat and maintain the former school. The building requires major upgrades to its roof, siding and heating system, and has potentially hazardous asbestos and lead paint.
The town spent $5,210 to remove an old fuel tank and an additional $1,685 on a study of the lead paint and asbestos removal, he said.
The study revealed it would cost between $15,000 to $50,000 to address the problem — depending on the options — and $18,000 to remove the asbestos tiles, Hickey said. The new owner would have to pay for that work.
Approximately 20 people turned out for the auction conducted by James R. St. Jean Auctioneers of Epping. Selectmen set a minimum bid of $150,000 for the 7,479-square-foot building, which sits on 1.4 acres. The property was assessed at $410,000.
Until the building was vacated so it could be sold, it served as a home to nonprofit agencies, including Rockingham Community Action, ServiceLink and the Greater Salem Caregivers.
It also housed municipal offices, most recently the town’s human services department. The building, which opened in 1924, served as a school for several decades.