Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in the cases of Cadchost, Inc. v. Mid Valley School District, No. 81 Civil 6029, and Underwood Realty Company, Inc. v. Mid Valley School District, No. 81 Civil 6030, dated July 12, 1985.
Lawrence J. Moran, for appellant.
John J. Brazil, Jr., for appellees.
Judges MacPhail, Doyle and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
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Mid Valley School District (School District) appeals from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna
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County which denied the School District's motion for a new trial and let stand a judgment against the School District in the amount of $32,345.00.
The matter before us involves a series of negotiations undertaken by the School District in order to purchase land for the construction of a new secondary school building. In 1978, the School District entered into an option agreement with Cadchost, Inc. and Underwood Realty Co., Inc. (Appellees) for the purchase of from 70 to 168 acres of land at $2,000 per acre. Initially, an agreement for the purchase of 102.5 acres was proposed, but it was never finalized. Later, as a result of additional negotiations, the parties agreed that the School District would purchase 51.8 acres of land, with the provision that Appellees reimburse the School District for the expense of constructing an alternate sewer system to provide service to Appellees' remaining land. Due to legal action taken against the School District at this time,*fn1 however, this agreement was also never completed, and further negotiations were suspended.
Thereafter, the School District requested that the Appellees make another offer. On June 21, 1979, Appellees sent a letter to the School District's solicitor proposing three alternatives as their final offer. The solicitor presented these proposals to the School Board at an unofficial work session held by the School Board between June 17 and June 25, 1979, at which time at least seven of the nine Board members attended. After considering each of the three alternatives, the School Board decided to accept the proposal which offered the sale 52.7 acres at $2,000 per acre conditioned upon the School District itself bearing the cost of constructing
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the alternate sewer plan which would run adjacent to, and service, Appellees' remaining land.*fn2 The School Board directed its solicitor to accept this proposal, and on June 29, 1979, the solicitor closed the agreement with Appellees' attorney.*fn3 Thereafter the School District paid the purchase price of $104,000.00, and the deeds were transferred. Construction was then commenced according to a construction contract which included the alternate sewer plan.
In the winter of 1980, the School District abandoned the alternate sewer plan set forth in the agreement on the advice of its architect. Appellees brought an action in assumpsit alleging breach of contract. A jury trial was held, and on February 15, 1984, a verdict was returned in favor of Appellees in the amount of $32,345.00. The School ...