Several significant decisions will be made by the ISD 88 Board of Education in the upcoming weeks. Two areas that have been getting the most media attention include: budgetary reductions for the 2012-13 school year and the status of collective bargaining with employees.
Budgetary reduction decisions are scheduled to be decided on March 15 at a continuation meeting from the March 8 school board meeting. A listing of proposed reduction options will be posted on the school website on March 19. Employee collective bargaining will continue until an agreement is reached.
Another significant decision to be made by the ISD 88 Board of Education involves the possible sale of the school property commonly referred to as the DAC, or former Middle School.
Why would the school district consider sale of this property? The first reason is the space that is being used on a daily basis is only about 22 percent of the total available space. A second reason is that utility cost of operation is very high in comparison to other school facilities. A third reason is that the entire space has future maintenance needs such as tuck-pointing the exterior, on-going roof maintenance, and a need for utility infrastructure upgrades. A fourth reason for sale of the property would be to return one square block of real estate to tax rolls.
Why should the property not be sold? The first reason is that the property contains an auditorium which is used heavily for community functions and various school functions such as plays, concerts, and athletic practices.
Would sale of the property remove this space from potential use? What alternate spaces for these uses are available in the community? A second reason for not selling the property is because several district offices are located in the facility and would have to find alternate operating space.
What process must be used for the sale of public property? The school district has two options to use for possible sale of the property. One option is to place the property for sale and accept sealed bids from prospective buyers. A second option is to directly negotiate a purchase agreement with an interested party. Statute suggests solicitation of at least two quotations. In either case, the school board can reject any or all bids if they feel uncomfortable with the arrangements.
If the property should be sold, how can the sale proceeds be used? State statute prescribes a specific order of how funds from a sale must be used. They include: (1) To pay off any outstanding bonds on the property. This would not apply to ISD 88 as there are not outstanding bonds on the property. (2) To be deposited in the operating capital account to be used for capital improvements of district owned buildings or to replace the sold property.