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CC developer offers to acquire school for $1, protect history

CC developer offers to acquire school for $1, protect history

Board to committee: Craft an agreement

A Charles City-based developer hopes to acquire the existing Charles City Middle School for $1 and seek government grants to transform it into apartments while preserving it’s historic architecture.

Monday night, the Charles City School Board reviewed a proposal submitted Oct. 13 by Amelia Management, LLC.

“What really stood out to me was that it is really flexible,” School Board Vice President Jason Walker said.

Included in the proposal are conditions that would allow a lease negotiation for the potential future development of a community center or similar public project in a portion of the 500 North Grand building.

School Board Member Lorraine Winterink saw several favorable items listed in the proposal. The first point she highlighted was the intent to create a trust for the purpose of community improvement.

“Ten percent of the ownership units, carrying the certain restrictions to protect cash flow for (North Grand Building) would be allocated to a newly created trust with partners serving as trustees, dedicated to the improvement of the physical and especially architectural environment of the Charles City community,” the proposal reads.

Other highlights Winterink noted were: — the intent to invite a not-for-profit, tax exempt entity to use the eastern portion of the middle school; — the agreement’s obligation to maintain the 500 North Grand’s exterior and grounds to a level as good as or better than the level achieved by the district; — the promise of market rate housing; no unit will be leased for a rent amount less than the greater of the median or the average rent for comparable units in Charles City.

“What we’re looking to do here is provide the district some assurance that we’re not going to turn this into lower level slum,” Charley Thomson, coowner of Amelia Management, LLC, said.

Ultimately, the proposal requests being granted permission to purchase the 500 North Grand building.

“The option would grant NGB — and its nominee — the right, but not the obligation, to acquire on or prior to 5 p.m. August 15, 2016, for $1 cash consideration … the real property and improvements located on the parcel bounded by North Grand Avenue, Sixth Avenue, Fifth Avenue and C Street,” the proposal reads.

Walker asked Thomson if he knew of any deadlines at this point in the process. According to Thomson, there are a variety of deadlines Amelia Management will need to meet for historic tax credits, other financing options and of construction and architectural decisions.

“It’s very difficult to pin down,” Thomson said of specific dates.

The School Board directed the Buildings and Grounds Committee to work out details of a purchase agreement with Amelia Management, LLC.

In other business

Also approved at Monday evening’s School Board meeting was to incorporate “alternate 3” — which included telescoping stands, lockers and gymnasium equipment — into the middle school addition project. This inclusion required the approval to increase the $18.8 million budget by $255,000 to $19,055,000.

Superintendent Dr. Dan Cox explained how increasing the budget was possible.

“The bond sale produced more revenue for us than anticipated,” Cox informed School Board members. Since more money was produced, increasing the budget will not cut into the “safety net” built into the budget for unforeseen costs.

Other items at Monday’s meeting included: — a presentation from high school students on CCHS culture, climate and environment — approval of unknown sanitary service, McKiness Excavating, $1,344.09; changes on First Avenue, McKiness Excavating, $12,595.71; additional outlets for security cameras, Community Electric, $427.76; building slab drainable base course, McKiness Excavating, $10,752.470 — approval to change T8 linear fixtures to LED lighting tubes — approval to purchase mistaken shipments of wireless access points to increase wifi availability — approval of early childhood calendar sales fundraiser — approval of middle school band Charles City Press subscription renewal fundraiser — approval of personnel appointments: Tyler Downing, assistant boys’ basketball coach, $3,847; Toni Smith, middle school assistant drama director, $1,667 The next School Board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 9 in the Charles City Middle School cafeteria. School Board members predict a “light” agenda as Cox will be in Argentina as part of the Fulbright-City of Buenos Aires School Exchange Program.

By Amie Johansen [email protected]

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