St. Catharine assets, equipment auctioned off

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By Kacie Goode

In room 152, the name “Brandi” is painted above a bed frame, and the room seems to be waiting for a new occupant. But outside the door hangs a small slip of paper with the number 1250. The bed, the desk and the rest of the items in the room have an opening bid of $30.

A two-day auction that began online this morning means assets of the once populated St. Catharine College will be finding new homes and new uses.

“They’ve got a lot of training stuff here,” said Mark Hale, who was accompanied by Carol Barr as they browsed items in the library.

The two staff members of Washington County EMS had just come from the health and science building across the lawn, which was filled with medical equipment.

“We teach classes,” Barr said, explaining they were interested in items such as medical mannequins and educational materials.”

The options were plentiful, as the items left behind after the college’s summer closure gave the appearance of a school simply empty for the holiday.

The liberal arts college, founded in 1931, closed its doors in July after a legal battle with the U.S. Department of Education and financial turmoil.

Signs that once welcomed students read, “This campus is closed,” but the auction had the campus buzzing with life again. The locked facilities were opened Monday and Tuesday to those wishing to view the items in person.

Everything from vintage book collections, dorm room furniture and televisions, to kitchen appliances and medical equipment are up for grabs.

Some were browsing items for personal use, such as computer systems or artwork. Others, like Barr and Hale, were there looking at items they could use to teach. Other school systems and colleges were also taking a look around, but declined to comment on their presence or what they hoped to obtain.

The auction will take place in two sections. Today, bids will close on medical and kitchen equipment, while bids for classroom, office and other equipment will close Thursday. Items by auction day can be viewed and bid on at http://gaauction.com/events/st-catharine-college.