Burlington school, complete with 90 rooms and auditorium, goes up for bid on eBay

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The owners of the former Apollo Middle School in Burlington are selling it on eBay at a fraction of the cost paid just two years ago.

The 1908 building has 90 rooms including a 700-seat auditorium complete with wooden seats and a red velvet curtain in its 108,000 square feet. It sits on 3.5 acres on a hill overlooking downtown Burlington and the Mississippi River.

As of Saturday evening, the high bid stood at $28,988, above the minimum of $19,500 set by the owners.

Tammy and Patrick Cutts of Grove Beach, Calif., bought the building from an Iowa City developer in 2006 for $145,000. They had hoped to develop it as a combined residential, commercial and community building. But after spending $50,000 for renovation and taxes, Patrick Cutts said it was costing too much.

"My wife and I did not really know what we were getting into when we bought it," he said. "We have not been able to come up with any money to do the needed repairs, and we're still paying on the loans we originally took out to pay for the building. Hopefully, someone will see our ad on eBay and will be able to buy it and get it repaired so it will be usable."

Cutts said he hopes to see the building developed into something that will benefit the community.

"I understand where they are coming from with the sale," said Burlington resident Jon Hazell, who has worked for several years to redevelop the building. "It's costing thousands of dollars a month in utility bills and taxes."

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