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November 14, 2012

Dec. 13 auction planned for bankrupt Lon Morris College

JACKSONVILLE — Lon Morris College properties will be auctioned off as early as 11 a.m. Dec. 13, Ameribid LLC officials announced in a release issued Tuesday.

AmeriBid LLC officials technically are still requesting permission from a judge for that date, but it is expected to be granted. The auction – for qualified bidders only – will take place at McKool Smith, PC, 300 Crescent Court, 12th floor, in Dallas.

Upon approval by the United States Bankruptcy Judge in Tyler, the core of the college’s 112-acre campus will be auctioned, including such unique features as a library, chapel, administration building, classroom facilities, student center, dormitories and fields.

AmeriBid will be providing prospective bidders with detailed information about the 168-year-old junior college and its extensive campus, according to the release.

Stephen Karbelk, co-chairman and founder of AmeriBid, said he expects prospective bidders to include other colleges, churches, denominations, school systems, and other groups that might wish to use the property as a conference center, corporate retreat or even residential treatment center.

The 112-acre college will be offered in multiple parcels and as an entirety.

''It will sell in the combination of parcels that brings the highest total price for the school," said Karbelk.

The former United Methodist college, which was the state's oldest two-year college, has approximately 50,000 square feet of academic lecture halls, five dormitories, a technology center, a gymnasium, an athletic training complex, and fields for football, baseball and other sports.

"It would make an excellent home for seniors, substance rehabilitation center, juvenile detention facility, or any of a number of other uses," said Karbelk. “We're providing very detailed information on the various facilities to make it easier for interested individuals.”

All sales will be be consummated through a Chapter 11 Plan confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court, giving the purchaser the assurances of a federal court order. 

"We're delighted to have the auction plans finalized," Dawn Ragan, Chief Restructuring Officer for the college, said in the release.

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