GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 26, 2013

Charter's assets on the block

School's assets on the block today through online, email bids

Trustees of Gloucester’s defunct charter school will run their anticipated two-day electronic sale of assets today, hoping to gather enough funds to repay some or all of their lingering debt.

The trustees have posted listings detailing all of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School’s remaining assets on their website, with a “Buy it now” price for each item, and the amount the school paid for each item. If the charter trustees manage to sell all of the items at their “Buy it now” prices, the school will likely collect over $100,000.

But those who trusted that the sale of school assets would set the balance back at $0 will likely suffer disappointment, according to minutes from a March 11 charter board meeting, when trustees determined the sale money would not suffice. A March 5 invoice that estimated the school was in about $90,000 debt, on top of the money owed to creditors, did not include some lease payments due and bookkeeper expenses, according to meeting minutes.

“The amounts owed significantly exceeded income expected from the sale of assets,” the minutes noted.

And those amounts are totaled to exclude a $45,734 bill from the law firm the school has used, Foley Hoag LLP., which is not seeking payment for the outstanding balance remaining as of March 5, according to the minutes. All of this debt remains even after the state released federal funds earlier this month to repay $35,000 to creditors.

The online and email-only sale, posted over the weekend and first reported Monday morning at gloucestertimes.com, begins today at 8 a.m. and comes after trustees waited nearly a month for state approval of the sale method.

Buyers should send their purchase requests to sale@gcacharterschool.org. For a Times video tour of sale items, recorded during the school’s initial showcase day in February, go online to gloucestertimes.com.

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