GALT – More than 300 people turned out to bid on the trappings of the former Sauk Valley Christian Academy at a public auction Saturday.
The private, nondenominational school, formerly known as Sterling Christian School, closed Dec. 21.
The school owes an unknown amount of payroll taxes to the government. In an attempt to repay its debts, the school building is up for sale and the contents of the building were auctioned off.
The 15,000-square-foot building on 2 acres at 5505 Anne St. in Galt, west of Sterling, is listed for $95,000.
School Board President Roger Young did not return a call Sunday seeking the amount of money garnered from the auction.
Local school officials, church members and bargain-hunters packed the gym, where tables were filled with items. They filed through the cafeteria and kitchen to scoop up used appliances. And they milled about classrooms, where child-sized school furniture sat cold and empty.
The auction had the look and feel of a rummage sale, except for the formalities of the auction style of sale, most notably a couple of fast-talking auctioneers, who kept things rolling for nearly 4 hours.
Among the items for sale were computers, TVs and DVD players; copy machines and printers; office furniture; appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers and ranges; and school furniture and fixtures, such as desks, lockers, chalkboards, world maps and gym equipment.
Bidders walked away with stacks of stainless-steel pots and sheet trays, boxes of books and videotapes and yards of garden hose and electric cable. They took home half-used rolls of aluminum foil and plastic wrap, unopened boxes of facial tissues and brand-new bottles of hand sanitizer. And they carried away foam cups, plastic portion cups and cans of ketchup and cheese sauce.
Bundles of kitchen items went quickly, many for less than $25. A scoreboard went for just $30. But a soda machine went for $200 and a sliding-door beverage cooler fetched $280 – perhaps the highest-bid items of the day.
Some people were there out of curiosity. Others were there looking to score a good deal on items for their school or church. Still more were there hunting for treasure.
The school board plans to meet with former school board members Tuesday to discuss the debt and repayment plans.