COMSTOCK, Minn. — Andrew Rockhold was driving near Comstock in 2013 when he noticed the old school near the edge of town.
It was infatuation at first sight.
"I'm from the South; you just don't get a whole lot of buildings up here that are just aesthetically beautiful," Rockhold said, explaining why he sought out the owner of the property and spent the next several years encouraging him to sell.
Eventually, the owner relented and sold the property to Rockhold, who lives in south Moorhead and owns a used car dealership in Fargo.
"I love to buy and sell things," Rockhold said.
He considered fixing up the old school and turning it into a wedding venue, but that would take significant funding and time. Rockhold isn't sure he has enough of both to take on the job by himself.
That's why last summer he put the old school up for sale, posting online on sites like Facebook Marketplace.
Rockhold said he is open to offers.
If he gets one he likes, he'll sell it. "If I don't, I'll keep it," he said.
He has been selling off miscellaneous items that were stored in the old school by the previous owner, who Rockhold said used the school as a warehouse.
According to information provided by Mark Peihl, archivist with the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The information provided by Peihl also shows:
- The original two-story portion of the school opened in 1909, and other classrooms opened in 1910 and 1911.
- In 1929, a one-story brick high school wing was added to the rear of the building, and in 1939 a gymnasium was added to the school campus.
- Declining enrollment in the 1950s led to consolidation with the Barnesville school, about 16 miles east, and high school classes moved from Comstock to Barnesville around 1956. The Comstock school closed in the mid 1970s, when elementary classes moved to Barnesville.
Rockhold said the building needs a new roof and windows. Also, he said, whatever flooring inside that remains strong enough to walk on requires leveling.
He stressed, however, that the building has good bones and isn't beyond repair.
"I'm willing to do it, but I'm also willing to let it go if someone else wants to do it," Rockhold said.
Rockhold has a Facebook page set up with information about the site. It can be found here.
For more information, Rockhold may be reached at 701-367-7603 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.