The Arlington School District plans to sell the Trafton Elementary School, which could house an alcohol and drug recovery program.

The Arlington School District plans to sell the Trafton Elementary School, which could house an alcohol and drug recovery program.

Trafton School to be sold; may house drug, alcohol program

ARLINGTON — School district leaders have signed an agreement to sell the historic Trafton Elementary School and the neighboring Trafton house.

The buyer’s proposed use for at least one of the buildings is an Oxford House, part of a nonprofit clean and sober living program. Oxford houses around the country are independently run by the recovering alcoholics and drug addicts who live in them, according to the organization.

“As an Oxford House, it would be used as a stepping stone life-skill learning center,” Arlington School District spokeswoman Andrea Conley said in an email Friday.

Specifics about what programs or services might be offered at the Trafton schoolhouse were not available.

Trafton Elementary was recognized as the oldest continuously operating schoolhouse in the state when it closed in 2010. The closure was controversial among families in the area, many of whom felt a deep connection to the white schoolhouse. Hundreds of people attended public hearings before the board voted to close the school six years ago.

On May 23, the Arlington School Board unanimously approved a resolution to declare the Trafton property as surplus and authorized district employees to move forward with selling it. The sale includes the schoolhouse at 12616 Jim Creek Road and the Trafton residential house at 12528 Jim Creek Road.

The proposed sale price was not immediately available. Money from the sale would go to the district’s capital projects fund and could be used for repairs or other building projects.

A public hearing preceded the board’s vote. No one commented during the hearing, according to minutes from the May 23 meeting.

A team of land-use and real estate experts led the district through the sale process, Conley said. They requested letters of interest and the school board reviewed offers. Board members decided that preserving the historic schoolhouse needed to be a priority in their decision, Conley said.

There were 135 students in kindergarten through fifth grade at the school in its final year. The district no longer could afford to maintain the old building for daily use, administrators said at the time.

The Trafton school is on the National Register of Historic Places and Washington Heritage Register. The schoolhouse was built in 1888, then rebuilt in 1912 after it burned down.

The district decided to sell the property rather than renting out the schoolhouse or residential house because the liabilities of renting outweigh the benefits, according to school board documents.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

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