West Virginia Northern Community College bid $205,000 for the old Electrical Contractors Supply Co. building, but whether the owners of the structure will accept the bid remains to be seen.
The auction was ordered by Circuit Court Judge David Sims and held last month at the building, located at 10 18th St. Steven Lippiello, WVNCC vice president of administrative services and chief financial officer, was the highest bidder during the auction. He said only one other person bid on the building, situated on 1.9 acres of land. The structure is located directly behind WVNCC's B&O building.
Auctioneer Jim Frio said WVNCC did not meet the reserve placed on the 12,000-square-foot building, and now negotiations are under way with the family members who own it.
"There were, in individual terms, 25-30 people there, but I think they were more casual observers than people interested in buying the building," Lippiello said.
Lippiello said the college does not have any specific plans for the property, but the building needs to be torn down, he said.
"The building itself is not useable - there are too many issues with it," he said. "It's in too great a state of physical disrepair. I've looked through it several times ... it has deteriorated further."
One idea for the property, he said, is to raze it and use it for more parking.
"Beyond that had we've had some discussions, but nothing concrete," Lippiello said.
Frio said he hoped the negotiations would be finished by week's end. Frio said previously the bid may have to be brought before the judge, but he does believe that will have to happen now.
WVNCC tried to negotiate a sale in the past, but the owners were asking too much, school officials have said. In 2012, the building was listed with Broadwater Properties at an asking price of $750,000.
Frio noted the auction was court ordered because there have been disagreements among the heirs. The business had two owners who both passed away.