By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
The sale of an Angels Camp office building might prove to be a huge boost for a planned sports complex building for Bret Harte Union High School District.
The Veterans Memorial building at the corner of Main Street and Raspberry Lane will be auctioned off Sept. 28, and at least $100,000 of the purchase price has been promised to help build tennis courts, baseball diamonds, a soccer field and more.
The two-story, 5,300-square-foot office building garnered awards for its historical detail and beauty when it was built in 1967. At one time, it served as the city hall. Today, it is home to the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce and several businesses.
Building owner John Tichenor wants to sell the place and has told the fund-raising group Bret Harte-Angels Inc. that he'll donate at least $100,000 of the selling price.
Vintage Realty, which is handling the auction, has listed the building at $1 million.
Beyond the promised $100,000, Tichenor said he'll contribute 50 percent of any sales price over the minimum $1 million bid amount.
The sports complex is to be built on 18 acres beyond the Bret Harte High School student parking lot on Murphys Grade Road. The district purchased the land in 1994.
"It's already designed and (the land has been) rough graded," said district Superintendent Joseph Wilimek.
He said the complex's design includes a classroom with bathrooms, a soccer field, four outdoor basketball courts, five outdoor tennis courts, a baseball diamond and two softball diamonds.
Wilimek said it would cost about $2 million to build what the district has designed, complete with lighting, parking lot extension and all the fencing and sprinkling systems.
The nonprofit Bret Harte-Angels group has been working with the district as well as the City of Angels Camp and the county to raise funds for the already-designed complex, and for an Olympic-size pool.