By law and policy the district can only sell or lease real estate with authorization from the electorate at a public meeting. At last Wednesday's board meeting we unanimously approved three measures to be placed on the agenda of the October 5th annual meeting. The three measures seek authorization from the public to:
1) Sell or lease the Nichols property
2) Sell the two residential properties on Jerome street across from the high school
3) Lease the Maywood property
None of the proposals require we do anything with these properties, but the give the board the authority to take advantage of any opportunities that might come along.
I have said before that I think the district would be better off with the Nichols property working for the community rather than sitting (largely) idle. It is a prime piece of real estate in Monona and could be of significant value to the community. To my knowledge there are no plans or proposals in the works, but finding the right project for the property is likely to take some time. Public approval will let potential developers know we are serious, and makes it more likely that someone will invest the time and effort to develop a proposal.
The Jerome street properties are two houses adjacent to the District tennis courts across the street from the high school (these are actually in the city of Madison.) We've been talking about doing something to upgrade the tennis facility for years - and the neighbors would prefer something to these unoccupied residences. The houses are used by the district for storage, but they aren't really of much value to us - selling them could provide some revenue for much needed facilities maintenance and upgrades.
No one is interested in selling the Maywood property, I think we should keep it for potential future needs. But finding a paying occupant would be of financial benefit to the district, better maintain the building and address some of the community concerns associated with an unoccupied school. As I noted we have seen some interest from the Madison school district as a location for their Nuestro Mundo charter school. An arrangement could be substantially mutually beneficial.