Developer purchases former Belle Valley school buildings

News-DemocratJuly 3, 2013 

The two former Belle Valley school buildings have been purchased by Nick Snyder, a managing member of H&S Properties LLC, according to Belle Valley School District 119 officials.

Snyder purchased both buildings for $260,000 -- $57,000 for the former Belle Valley North on Andora Drive and $203,000 for the Belle Valley South building on Mascoutah Avenue.

Snyder said he and his partner are still determining what they will do with the buildings and are considering leasing or selling them.

H&S Properties with assistance from Barber Murphy Group, a commercial real estate company, are actively marketing the properties, according to Snyder.

"We are excited to bring new life to these two properties," he said in an email. "The properties have been shown to several groups of potential users but as of this date, we do not have a deal inked with a user. Some potential uses we have considered are; a charter or private school, church groups, child or adult daycare facility, senior activity center, overflow for college or trade school, and programs like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts could benefit from space both inside and outside the buildings."

H&S Properties operates in both Missouri and Illinois, according to Snyder.

"We have had some success in the past in dealing with distressed properties, finding a new useful purpose and putting life back into a property," Snyder said. "When we look at these two properties, we see potential with all kinds of opportunity."

Belle Valley Superintendent Louis Obernuefemann said both buildings were sold as is, and the money from the sale was added to the district's Operations and Maintenance Fund.

The buildings were no longer needed when Belle Valley moved into a new school at 2465 Amann Drive off Green Mount Road in Belleville.

Belle Valley North made the news in recent years because of damage to a part of the building due to mine subsidence. The part of the building that was affected, which was an addition to the original school, was demolished.

Since the buildings were put up for sale in December 2011, Obernuefemann said the district performed general maintenance on the former schools including lawn care. He said selling the buildings will save the district money as maintenance will no longer be necessary.

"We see the transaction as a positive for both parties," Snyder said. "The school district was relieved of a large monthly ongoing expensive burden. Hopefully we can breath fresh air into these properties and improve not only the buildings themselves but the surrounding community."

Snyder's bid was one of two bids the district received in November for the Belle Valley North building. Meurer Brothers bid $7,000. Snyder's bid of $203,000 for Belle Valley South was the only bid the district received for that structure.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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