- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

ASBURY, Iowa (AP) - The Asbury City Council has voted to sell a former one-room schoolhouse to local investors, who plan to turn the building into a coffeehouse.

The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1QxYcJv ) reports council members voted Tuesday to sell the building to Dubuque residents George Nauman and Cheri Kalb after members of a nonprofit group advocating for the 170-year-old structure to be preserved as a community center withdrew its proposal.

Nauman and Kalb submitted an offer to the city to buy the building for $173,000. It was originally listed for nearly $200,000.

The Asbury Education School of Preservation believes the building, which served as the city’s police department headquarters until this year, is among the oldest still-standing schoolhouses in Iowa.

George Hellert with the preservation said, “We have concluded by consensus that the best approach… is to preserve the historical structure through the Jumble School House Cafe.”

City administrators are still working on the wording of the deal before the sale is closed. The deal may include language that would give the city a first right to buy the structure and establish a historic preservation district.

City Administrator Beth Bonz says, “The attorney has come back with some proposed covenants for restrictions that we could work with George and Cheri on the sale that would assist with preserving the historic value of the building,”

Nauman, who owns Jumble Coffee Co. in Dubuque, says that he does not have a timeframe for when renovations to the building would be complete or when the coffeehouse would open.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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