Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2005

Learning center discussions encouraging

April 28, 2005

Officials from the city of Eudora and USD 491 seem to be taking a reasonable approach to a possible sale of the Community Learning Center.

The School Board has an interest in selling the former middle school if the price is right. City officials, who have a place at the table on this decision because of some long-forgotten transaction, would like that to happen, provided the buyer expands the city's tax base.

The two jurisdictions' goals are not entirely in sync. For the district, the question is could the property be sold for more than it would take to relocate elsewhere. The city wants to see a viable tax-generating business on the property that sits astride on the city's primary intersections. But there is enough common ground in those goals to motivate continued cooperation.

As a first step in its explorations, the district is having the property appraised as well as Kerr Field and the district administrative center. That's a reasonable step. We would go further and suggest that it would be good due diligence if both the city and the school district should have regular appraisals of all unused, excess or mothballed properties. Certainly, it doesn't make sense for the district to own little-used developable property such as Kerr Field, particularly when the administrative center appears cramped and the bus barn seems ill-placed both in terms of compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood and in serving current district needs.

For a district that will ask its taxpayers to pay for new facilities in the foreseeable future, managing property assets is a must. If that can be done while helping the city attract badly needed commercial growth, so much the better for the district and the city.

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