The Lakewood Board of Education introduced a resolution at its Sept. 16 meeting that outlines a proposed sale of the former McKinley Elementary School property to the City of Lakewood.
Superintendent Jeff Patterson called it as “win-win” situation. He said the transaction would free the district from the responsibility of finding a buyer – allowing it to focus on its mission of education - and give the City a prime piece of property to help meet its economic development goals.
“We are not in the business of land development,” Patterson said. “We are in the business of educating students. The City is much better equipped to take advantage of this property, and we can focus our efforts on educating students.”
In January, the school board began discussing the possibility of selling the shuttered school which was built in 1918 and sits on a 2.77-acre parcel in an area desirable to developers.
The property was assessed at $1.1 million in November of 2012. It costs approximately $40,000 a year to maintain and reopening the building was estimated to cost between $380,000 to 1.2 million.
Proceeds of any sale of the property by the City would be returned to the District. The deal also calls for the District to contribute one-third of the cost to demolish the former school building, which sits on nearly three acres of land at 1381 West Clifton Boulevard, that would be returned to the District after a sale is made.
The proposed purchase agreement also requires that the property be used primarily for residential purposes and that no tax abatements or tax deferrals may be offered.
"The Board is working in cooperation with the City to use this unique opportunity to put 3 acres of land to the best use for the good of Lakewood. We envision a quality residential development that bolsters the City's.
The abandoned school was previously offered to charter schools, a required step in the process.
When no bids came in, the Lakewood Board of Education approved moving the vacant property to the market.
“We’re exploring all of our options,” Superintendent Jeff Patterson previously said. “We’re trying to break cycle of having to go back and get the property appraised again in September.”