Lon Morris College is now empty and quiet three months after canceling its fall classes and four months after declaring bankruptcy.
But now, they are asking a U.S. bankruptcy judge in Tyler to approve a December 13th auction to sell the 112-acre campus, which includes approximately 50,000 square feet of academic space, five dormitories, and sporting fields.
"That's such a unique institution or unique kind of property that they're going to advertise as far and wide as they can to bring in people from outside the area to purchase it," said Tyler attorney Joe Thigpen.
Lon Morris said in an online statement today, "We're delighted to have the auction plans finalized. AmeriBid will be providing prospective bidders with detailed information about the school and its extensive campus."
The college will be offered in multiple parcels and as an entirety - in combinations that bring the highest total price to the school so that as many people as possible can be paid back.
"It's possible that you could see several owners. It's possible that they could divide it up," said Thigpen. "But it'd be kind of hard to see how a dormitory's going to be separate than something else. Probably the best and highest use of the property would be for a unified kind of use, like a retirement village or maybe even a probation center."
Neighborhood residents said it's been quiet without students in the neighborhood. Virginia McCoy and her husband Donald have lived in their home for 48 years - and three of their children graduated from Lon Morris.
"Lon Morris is also one of us now," said Virginia. "But now - what does it do now, aside from selling it? It was in the paper that it is going to be sold. We're hoping that somebody, an institute that's real good, children come around again."
The auction is expected to happen December 13 at 11 a.m. in Dallas.
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