Columbus City Schools buys offices of closed online charter ECOT

(FILE - WSYX/WTTE)

The school district in Ohio's capital is buying the former mall that served as headquarters for a massive online charter school that closed in January after the state told it to repay about $80 million in public funding.

Columbus City Schools says it had the winning bid of more than $3.1 million Tuesday for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow building a few miles south of downtown. Various fees raise the total cost above $3.4 million.

The district says it's a solid investment because the price was below the average market rate and the purchase could enable it to consolidate business operations and save money over time.

ECOT office furniture and supplies and hundreds of other items also were auctioned separately. ECOT's assets are expected to be used to pay creditors.

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