Roosevelt Elementary Likely to be Put Up for Bid at Lower Amount
There was no decision made on the fate of the Roosevelt Elementary School Building Tuesday night, but there was a general consensus that the building should be put up for bid again with community approved restrictions.
There will be no classes held in the Roosevelt Elementary School building this school year for the first time in a long time.
But the building itself may hang around under the Iowa City School District's control.
At least for a little while longer.
At an Iowa City School Board Facilities Meeting Tuesday night school board members discussed what to do after a recent reassessment of the building brought in a value much lower than the $770,000 it was originally assessed at.
Superintendent Steve Murley said this lower value was due to the restrictions placed on the property by the district in the bidding process after talking with the Roosevelt neighborhood about what they wanted for the property -- such as the building not being turned into a strip mall or apartment building.
Murley said his recommendation would be to continue to put the building up for sale with the restrictions so the district can remain "good neighbors" with the Roosevelt, which is obviously still not pleased after losing their longtime elementary school.
"My proposal would be to put it up for competitive bid again," Murley said.
Murley said this would be with the caveat that a reserve would be placed on the bidding process where the board would not accept bids below the $300,000 appraised price. The previous low bid that caused the reassessment (the only bid received during the first round of bids) was a $201,000 bid from developer Place Partners LLC in Iowa City.
Board member Tuyet Dorau disagreed with putting the property up for bid with restrictions, potentially costing the school district $470,000 in potential funding. She said that determining the eventual use of the building was not a school district responsibility, it is a city planning and zoning responsibility.
"The way we should be looking at this is what is best for the district," Dorau said.
She also suggested that if the district is going to hold onto the building a little longer while the bidding process takes its course and the building changes hands, the district should look at creative ways to use the space.
Board member Jeff McGinness said he supported either putting the building back up for bid with restrictions or sitting on it while the board decides what to do with the bidding.
Board president Marla Swesey suggested putting the building up for bid with restrictions and seeing what bids the district gets, and then considering whether to reject those bids if the board needs more time to decide. This idea gained the general consensus of most of the board members at the meeting (Patti Fields and Sarah Swisher not at this facilities meeting).
The issue is scheduled to come up again at the August 21 meeting.