A closing date has yet to be scheduled to finalize the sale of the Swarner House to the Carlisle Area Economic Development Corp.
“We are working on that,” said Christina Spielbauer, superintendent of the Carlisle Area School District. She said Wednesday that more details on a timetable could be available next week.
The school board on Feb. 21 agreed to sell the house to CAEDC in an “as is” condition for $100,000. CAEDC does business as the Carlisle Business Education Foundation, which was created to support the work of the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce.
Pending the final closing of the sales agreement, the brownstone and brick Swarner House will be the new home of the chamber, which currently has office space at 212 N. Hanover St.
The agreement requires that the sale be closed by June 28, the final business day of the month, said Michelle Crowley, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer. Crowley said the district has until the date of closing to transfer the remainder of its staff at Swarner to new office space in the district administrative wing in the Swartz building of Carlisle High School.
“We have had some people move over and settle,” Spielbauer said. “We still have a number of other folks to move over in the coming weeks.”
In late May, the chamber listed the North Hanover Street office with Wolfe & Company Realtors of Carlisle, Crowley said. She said the chamber decided to put the property on the market after a proposed sales agreement with a chamber member fell through.
Though the chamber board had approved the sale of the North Hanover Street property, the deal ended after the potential buyer determined it needed a design different from what the building could accommodate, Crowley said.
The chamber announced in March that members would have the first opportunity to buy the chamber office building. When the chamber renovated its current office in 2011, it borrowed money from itself, so the preference had been to have a chamber member buy the North Hanover Street building before putting it out for public sale.
The chamber plans to do minor renovation work on the Swarner House. This would include roof repair and the conversion of an office and small conference room into a large meeting room.
The hope is to relocate the chamber office from North Hanover Street to the Swarner House by late summer or early fall. In earlier reports, Crowley said the new location would offer the chamber greater accessibility and visibility.
Built in 1907, the Swarner House is the first old building travelers come across after leaving Interstate 81 at the Hanover Street exit to head north toward downtown Carlisle. Its location could help chamber members promote their businesses and expand the opportunity to provide information to people relocating to the Carlisle area.
The Swarner House will also offer the chamber 27 off-street parking spaces at a time when the current office on North Hanover Street will lose parking spaces to the upcoming project to install a traffic roundabout.
The Swarner House consists of three floors totaling about 4,643 square feet, according to a report released in March 2018 by the school district. For fire safety reasons, only the first two floors of 3,248 square feet was used in recent years by up to 12 district employees who worked in special education administration, child accounting, student registration, transportation management and safety and security management.