City, Board of Education finalizing sale of property

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Troy City Schools Board of Education is on track to sell its administrative offices back to the city by March 22.

Board members on Tuesday authorized superintendent Dr. Lee Hicks to finalize terms of the sale and the lease agreement with city officials.

“We’re trying to close by March 22,” said Steven Curtis, board attorney.

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The City of Troy wants to purchase the offices, located in a former Army Reserve building on the Elba Highway, and convert the unused drill hall to a drive-through fire station.

The city plans to pay the school board $1,861,306.80 for the property and in return will offer a 99-year, $1 per year lease to the school board so it can maintain administrative offices in the current location.

The city originally sold the building to the Board of Education in 2005 for $500,000. Since then, the board has invested nearly $1.3 million in renovations and additions to create the central office, board meeting room and training rooms now at the center. The drill hall and back areas remain unused.

In November 2015, city council members authorized Mayor Jason Reeves to pursue the purchase of the building and lease agreement with the school board. The purchase amount reflects the total of the school board’s investment in the property, including the purchase and renovations.

At the time, Reeves said the arrangement gives the city a much-needed third fire station inside city limits and one located in an area of town that is experience growth.

Hicks said the school board will invest the proceeds of the sale in “maintaining the high standards of the school system.” The $1.8 million equals nearly one month of operating expenses and will be held in reserve until needed, he said. “We could use it for capital investment or providing stability of what we already have, in anticipation of what might be coming with the state budget.”

The board of education also anticipates an increase in debt service payments within the next year as it begins to repay the $15 million in bond funding used for the rebuilding of Charles Henderson Middle School and a series of other capital investments on the high school and elementary school campuses.

In other business during Tuesday morning’s called meeting, the board members approved two resignations: Jessica Hensley, Troy Elementary teacher aide, and Kevin Watson, CHHS history teacher. Hicks said both positions would be refilled.