School board, buyer disagree on former middle school property
Douglas County School District isn’t responsible for funding an environmental impact study for the former Kingsbury Middle School site, school board trustees decided on Tuesday.
The board unanimously voted against paying for a $100,000 environmental impact study that was requested by Patrick Taylor, managing member of Lake Parkway LLC. The school district accepted a $3.15 million offer on the property in July from the Glenbrook-based company.
“We didn’t agree to do an environmental impact study,” board member Ross Chichester said.
Located at 1900 Echo Drive on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, Kingsbury Middle School opened in 1976 with a $1.5 million price tag. The facility was closed during the 2008-2009 school year due to declining enrollment at Douglas County’s Lake Tahoe-area schools.
The building was put on the market in 2012 for $4 million.
Taylor’s offer was accepted “on the condition the buyer was responsible for taking on any zoning changes,” board member Thomas Moore said. “It would not be in our best interest to move forward with spending another $100,000 to change the zoning.”
Taylor has proposed building a 420-unit affordable housing project on the site.
“The property’s worthless [as it is],” Taylor said. “That’s why you’ve never received an offer.”
Superintendent Teri White agreed with the board’s decision not to fund the environmental impact study.
“There’s just too much risk,” she said.
If the sale falls through the division stands to lose money it sorely needs for capital improvement projects within the division.
During Tuesday’s meeting the board also approved a revised five-year Capital Improvement Plan that includes $3.6 million for infrastructure improvements at Carson Valley Middle School. Those improvements include bringing the school into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, creating a single point of entry for safety reasons and upgrading fire alarms, White said after the meeting.
In reality about $12 million is needed for the middle school, Chief Financial Officer Holly Luna told the board. In total, between $45 and $78 million is needed for maintenance repairs within the division.
“This is a very bleak picture,” she said. “You guys are going to struggle with capital going forward.”