JACKSONVILLE — Lon Morris College appears to be stuck in time, as if students and staff never left.
All of these buildings are scheduled to be up for grabs when the oldest two-year college in Texas auctions off core facilities Dec. 13 in Dallas.
The school, which filed bankruptcy in July, entails about 112 acres of academic halls, student housing and athletic facilities, according to an auction brochure. It has about 50,000 square feet of academic lecture halls, about 95,000 square feet in student dormitories, an athletic training complex, a gymnasium and multiple playing fields, the brochure states.
“There are so many things this group of buildings can be, just depending on what ultimate configuration it ends up,” said Carl Carter, spokesman for AmeriBid, the company auctioning off Lon Morris’ facilities.
In the end, though, Brent Wellings, regional director with AmeriBid, said they want to put packages together that make sense for different buyers.
“We want to remain flexible through this process so we can listen to people like the Nolands,” who want to ensure that a memorial marker for Sammy Noland stays on campus, “and other potential buyers who have interest in specific parts of the campus so that we can structure a sale that is beneficial to everyone that wants to participate in the auction,” Wellings said.
Therefore, AmeriBid has intentionally waited through the marketing process so it can get feedback from people and structure a sale accordingly, he said.
The auction is the latest chapter in Lon Morris’ financial struggles.
The financially strapped institution filed a voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in July after bleeding millions of dollars since at least the 2007-08 school year, when college representatives said the school embarked on a costly plan to grow enrollment.
In August, the college learned it would lose federal student aid and subsequently decided to suspend the fall semester. Lon Morris Attorney Hugh Ray III has said that changed the nature of the case, which went from selling an operating facility to instead auctioning its assets as real estate.
Wellings encouraged people to contact AmeriBid if they are interested in bidding.
“We want to hear about what they’re interested in and see if we can help,” he said.
Individuals seeking additional information about the auction may visit www.AmeriBid.com or call 877-895-7077.