The Hartford School property, located at 508 W. Main Street, will go up for Auction on Tuesday, February 9 at 11 a.m. The auction sign saddened the hearts of those who long remember and cherish the memories of the school.
The school had consolidated with the Hackett School District in 2014. Then, in early 2018, the announcement was made that the school would be closing. In an interview following that announcement, Superintendent Eddie Ray stated “the cost to operate our district is exceeding the funding we receive from the state to operate.”
On Friday, May 25, the students, faculty and staff heard a broken and emotional voice come over the intercom one final time. It was a dismissal, the final dismissal. The Hartford School campus closed.
Following the schools closure, many citizens expressed concerns about the future of their children and the town. “Hartford School was the heartbeat of our town,” said Kathleen Harbottle. The decision forced many families to move out the area, others to be split between Mansfield and Hackett Schools.
On Tuesday, February 27, a group of concerned citizens met to discuss the prospect of forming a charter school. Ultimately, a board was formed and an application was submitted to the state board. In August of 2018 the charter school application for Sugarloaf Valley Academy was denied. The panel found that there wasn’t a demonstrated need shown for the school and they “had concerns about whether it could attract a sufficient number of students to be financially viable.”
In the meantime, the school’s buildings were boarded up, a symbolic finality to the efforts of the community who tried valiantly to save their school.
On Tuesday, February 19, 2021, the school will be auctioned off, and sold regardless of price. The auction listing states the sale includes vacant land, gymnasiums, classroom buildings and metal buildings. There are approximately 20+/- acres, which will be sold in multiple tracts. For more information on the auction, and live bidding, you can visit Looper Auction and Realty’s website.