The Lebanon City Council approved the purchase of the Mitchell House from Sigma Pi fraternity during a special called meeting.
The city will spend $1.4 million from its fund balance to purchase the house, which sits on the historic former Castle Heights Military Academy campus, and move some city departments into the building because of a lack of space at City Hall.
“The city has been looking for space because we’ve run out of space here,” said Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash, noting engineering and planning departments were “packed in there like sardines.”
The property was appraised for about $1.2 million. The $1.4 million includes a purchase price of $1.15 million for the house, with the rest going toward cosmetic upgrades for the building.
“Financially, it’s a good deal for us,” Ash said.
Ash said building inspectors and information technology personnel inspected the building and determined the cosmetic needs for the building.
David Mitchell, a Castle Heights Military School founder, and his family moved into the building in 1910, and lived in the house until 1923. It remained vacant for 10 years until Castle Heights purchased the property.
It housed the school’s Junior School and living quarters for 50 years until 1986 It remained vacant until 1997 when Cracker Barrel Old Country Store purchased the building to house its executive offices and performed several upgrades and renovations to the property.
Sigma Pi Fraternity was the most recent owner of the building, and opened the property for events such as weddings.