The Methow Community Club may get ownership of the old schoolhouse, where residents gathered for years for weekly coffee and conversation, if a potential deal with the Pateros School District and a community member works out.
The community member approached the school district about purchasing the 1,378-square-foot building and donating it to the community club, Pateros School District Supt. Greg Goodnight said.
The school board adopted a resolution last week declaring the property surplus and authorized a property appraisal to take place on Tuesday (Sept. 22). Once they have the appraisal, the potential purchaser must agree to pay at least 90% of the value by state law, Goodnight said.
The building hasn’t held classes since 1947, but the community club has used it for potlucks, family reunions and other gatherings for 65 years, in a room decorated with historic photos and quilts. Since the heating system was improved 15 years ago, weekly Tuesday-morning gatherings have drawn dozens of people — until they were put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.
There’s no rent, but community members are encouraged to make a contribution if they use the building, community club president Bob Tonseth said.
“The school board and I have seen for a long time the importance of that property to the community,” Goodnight said. “We always looked for a win-win.”
The school board will schedule a public hearing if the district intends to sell the property. If the board and community support the deal, it would be at least 45 days before the board could award the bid, Goodnight said.
The schoolhouse in Methow is the only property the district owns outside Pateros. The community club uses the building for free and maintains the building and grounds.
Any proceeds from the sale must go into the capital fund for improvements to the school and other facilities in Pateros, Goodnight said. The school building that serves the district’s 291 students was built in 1942, and they still get by with 70-year-old pipes and wiring, Goodnight said. The athletic field is shared by football, baseball, softball and soccer teams.
The Okanogan County assessor appraised the Methow schoolhouse property, which is just under an acre, at $90,000.