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Lebanon Schools Sell Sacred Heart

The former Sacred Heart School in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

The former Sacred Heart School in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

Lebanon — The Lebanon School District has sold the last of four former schools shuttered in recent years under a consolidation plan.

The district sold the .78-acre former Sacred Heart School property to SSVK, LLC for $415,000 on June 11, according to city assessing records.

Filings with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office indicate Bharat K. Patel, of Hanover, manages SSVK.

“The intended use is to put in a commercial office building,” said Patel, a dentist at a nearby practice on Court Street in Lebanon. “My wife and I plan to rehabilitate the property.”

The two-story former Sacred Heart School on Eldridge Street held eight classrooms, a cafeteria, offices and storage space, according to the real estate listing in May. It was built in 1909 by Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Parish and was purchased by the public school district in the 1970s.

Under the district’s ownership, outdoor features included a playground and 13 parking spaces.

The School Board received an offer of $453,000 from Global Rescue LLC, a Boston-based crisis response firm with an office in Lebanon, in August 2013. But the two parties failed to reach an agreement.

Since then, the district had reduced its asking price from $499,000 to $450,000.

While the final sale price was below the asking pirce, the buyer was willing to agree to “other terms” requested by the district, said realtor Star Johnson of Hanover, who brokered the deal. He declined to provide details about contingencies included in the sales agreement, but he did say he feels confident about the property’s future.

“It’s a good buyer,” said Johnson. “Somebody who I think who likes the building and will do a good job with it.”

The sale marks the end of a spate of real estate transactions for the district.

Sacred Heart and School Street schools were shuttered in 2009 and students were relocated to the Hanover Street School. Then, in 2012, Lebanon Middle School opened and the former junior high on Bank Street and Seminary Hill School closed.

Seminary Hill now houses the district’s administrative offices.

Lebanon attorney Peter Decato purchased the former school district office building on Hanover Street — formerly the Sacred Heart convent, neighboring the former Sacred Heart School — and developer Mike Davidson of the White River Junction-based development company, Execusuite LLC, purchased the former junior high and the School Street property.

The school district’s old buildings, under new ownership, have taken on a variety of uses. Decato moved his law office into the former convent on Hanover Street. Davidson has converted the former junior high to a variety of uses, including the Spark Community Center — a place for adults with special needs. The former School Street School has been home to the Montessori Discovery School and until recently housed the Ledyard Charter School.

School Board Chairman Jeff Peavey said he anticipated the next step for the district in terms of real estate will be to renovate the Hanover Street School to accommodate a growing enrollment.

For example, he said, the K-4 school may be forced to add a fourth kindergarten teacher this year, but there’s “no space to expand” in the current building.

Should the district add on to the Hanover Street School in a year or two, Peavey said, he anticipated the project would include new administrative offices, and the school district would transfer ownership of the building at Seminary Hill to the city for continued public use.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.