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Judge Approves Petition To Sell Wyola School

Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph Cronin approved Newtown Township's petition to sell the historic Wyola School property.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–On June 5, Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph Cronin approved the petition for approval of the , free of use limitations, in Newtown Square.

The petition was filed by on April 27 to the Orphans' Court for approval of sale. The historic school house, which dates back to the 1870s, is located on 0.41 acres on the campus at 556 N. Newtown Street Rd., just south of St. Davids Rd.

According to Township Solicitor Richard Sokorai, Judge Cronin verbally approved the petition last Thursday, June 5, and the township received the written approval by the following day.

"He approved it upon the hearing," said Sokorai after Monday night's Board of Supervisors meeting.

Sokorai also laid to rest the rumors that the Wyola School will be demolished.

"A lot of people have the misconception that it's going to be demolished but it's sold specifically to pursue an easement that it has to be preserved. If they don't preserve it, we can and then lien the property," said Sokorai.

The next step, according to Sokorai, will be selling the property through a sealed bid or by public auction. According to Sokorai, the township will most likely go forward with a public auction.

Township Manager Mike Trio previously stated the sale of the old Newtown Public School No. 1, or more commonly known as the Wyola School, would bring additional revenue back to the township. Wyola School is currently leased to Episcopal Academy for about $15,000.

Patti Wilson June 15, 2012 at 05:21 PM
The Wyola School House is not on the Episcopal campus. It is actually on land owned by Newtown Township having been given to the township when Gambone sought to develop the land that later became Episcopal Academy. From comments made by Newtown's solicitor at a public meeting, only 3 of the outside walls and the bell cupola would have to be preserved. That is why the supervisors agree to petition the court to free the building from any use limitation. The Newtown township solicitor commented at a public meeting that Episcopal wanted to use the Wyola School house as a daycare center. Also, although there sould be one time revenue if it is sold(it's tax assessment is $148,460),the township will lose the income it receives annually(currently $15,000 per year). This revenue goes away if the building is sold and if Episcopal purchases, there will be no ongoing tax revenue as Episcopal is tax exempt. This is, in my view, shortsighted township supervisors seeking to sell an important historical asset for short term gain. It is very short-sighted thinking and once gone, it is gone forever.
Jennifer Kim (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Thanks for the insight, Patti!

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