The Astoria School Board Thursday declared Olney School a surplus item, a move that will allow the district to sell the building or lease or rent it.

Surplusing is a way to dispose of district property. Most of the time the board surpluses items like books, desks, chairs and computers.

The vote marked the next step in deciding the ultimate fate of Olney, which the board voted to close in 2002 because of budget cuts and declining enrollment.

"I think we need to move forward with this," board member David Kaspar said.

Superintendent Mike Sowder will work with the district's attorney to determine the language the district will use to advertise the building. The board could approve the draft during its next meeting, Sept. 9.

In June, the board voted to make the property and building appraisal numbers public.

According to an appraisal by Capital Evaluation Group Ltd., Olney School is worth anywhere from $250,000 to $375,000. District officials have said the market value may be higher.

The public can look at the full appraisal at the district office, 3196 Marine Drive. Copies are 10 cents per page.

Sowder said he isn't aware of anyone who has come in to look at the document.

Coastline Christian Fellowship expressed an interest in the real estate at a January board meeting. However, the district hasn't had any communication with the church since and doesn't know if Coastline is still interested.

A church spokesman could not be reached for comment this morning.

Kaspar said it's important for people to know the school is available.

"We have an asset we need to deal with so it doesn't sit and deteriorate," Kaspar said. "It's public money."

In other news, the board appointed Kim Nurding and Ken Bryan to the budget committee.

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