Sanford looking to sell historic Little Red School House

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Sanford officials are considering selling the city’s very first school, the Little Red School House, which needs about $64,000 worth of repair work.

This week, city commissioners heard from a historic preservation officer on why selling the 130-year-old building would be the best option, as opposed to leasing it out. 

The city got ownership of the school house once when the nonprofit fell behind on the tax bill. 

Officials said they’re not sure how much they could get for the school, but council feels it would be worth listing it on the MLS to see what offers comes in. 

“I don't blame them for putting it on the open market, but I would reserve it to something on the cultural side,” said Sanford resident Rich Compton.

The sale would come with some strings attached, officials said, like repair work.

Under the current plan presented to elected leaders on Monday, the buyer would have to fund that rehab and the profit from sale would be spread around the city for projects that focus on historic preservation, arts and culture.

Residents said they hope the building's history is properly left intact.

Whoever moves into it is going to have to abide by the Historic Preservation Board.

If no suitable buyer is found, the city would still have a backup plan. Several nonprofits have already submitted proposals to take over the property, officials said.

Commissioners still have to vote on the sale proposal at a future commission meeting.