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School district working out contract to give away property

jblackmon@thesunnews.com

The Horry County School District is working out a contract to donate the Loris Education Center to the City of Loris, with some caveats.

“I have no problem giving it to them as long as it’s used for public use, but I do not want them to just be able to turn around and sell it,” said Horry County School Board Chairman Joe DeFeo.

I have no problem giving it to them as long as it’s used for public use, but I do not want them to just be able to turn around and sell it.

Joe DeFeo, Horry County School Board chairman

“That was never the intention of the city,” said Loris City Administrator Damon Kempski. “Right now we’re in the process of exploring our options for development and utilization of the property.”

Loris doesn’t know what it will do with the property yet, and Kempski said the city is trying to get the best “bang for the buck” when deciding which use is most feasible.

That was never the intention of the city. Right now we’re in the process of exploring our options for development and utilization of the property.

Damon Kempski, Loris city administrator

The 31,377-square foot building on Spring Street was formerly the Loris Elementary School Annex, the Adult Education Center and was most recently used as a storage facility, said district spokeswoman Teal Britton. For the last few years, the building has been vacant, and costs the district between $1,200 and $1,500 per month in upkeep and utilities.

DeFeo said that if for some reason a deal wasn’t worked out, the district would sell the land.

That property is not something I foresee us ever using again, and there’s no point in us keeping any property that we’re not going to use.

Joe DeFeo, Horry County School Board chairman

“We’ve had a couple inquiries over the last month or two,” said DeFeo. “And they’re not strong inquiries or weak inquiries. If those people are interested, it would probably be a sealed bid process. That property is not something I foresee us ever using again, and there’s no point in us keeping any property that we’re not going to use.

“If we’re not going to use it all, we need to sell or give it, in this case, to Loris if they want to use it,” he said. “I do have a problem with a clause to say they can just sell it and be done with it. I don’t believe that’s their intention, but I don’t believe they should have that ability if we’re donating.”

The agreement has been a verbal commitment and now it’s a matter of the paperwork.

Damon Kempski, Loris city administrator

The district will talk about the details of the contract at a school board facilities committee meeting on Monday, and Kempski said the city has no plans to sell the land when it takes ownership.

“The agreement has been a verbal commitment and now it’s a matter of the paperwork,” said Kempski.

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian

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