Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

Deal lets city, district move on

July 6, 2006

Demonstrating admirable cooperation, the city of Eudora and the school district have resolved two property issues that allow both jurisdictions to move forward.

The city was able to secure from the district clear title to the property on which the city pool and the tennis courts sit. This is of utmost importance to the city because it is the site on which a new pool and community center would be built if voters approve a $3.8 million bond referendum Aug. 1.

The school district received clear title to the old middle school complex. Some time in the past, the city somehow was listed on the title of a small piece of that property -- a puzzling fact that was resolved through the negotiations.

That action, too, frees the district to move forward on the property. But unlike their city counterparts, district officials have not decided what they want to do with the property. The property, which five years ago the district was asking the community for advice on how best to divest, now houses the district's nontraditional school and vocational classes and could offer additional office space for a growing district. It is possible contingency that must be weighed against the cost of renovation and profits from any sale.

In the past, Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle has expressed his own ideas about how the site could best serve the community. Looking at its prime location at the intersection of the city's most important downtown streets, the mayor has expressed interest in part of the old middle school's reuse for private commercial or office space but clearly approved of the just-completed deal.

That was wise. With the need to go before voters with a bond issue in two years, the board of education should do its due diligence to best decide how to use or dispose of the property.

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