The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District will buy the former Broadway Middle School for $2.15 million.
“It’s a historic day for the district and the community,” said Michael Hinton, a park district board member, at a meeting on Monday. “I believe they will see the benefit of this in the not-too-distant future.”
Hinton, the district’s longest-serving board member, made the motion to purchase the former school. Board president Katharine Parker and Su Coddington, Celeste Bodner and Erika Marshall joined in the unanimous vote.
“I truly believe that park and rec provides a crucial service to our community,” Parker said. “By adding indoor play space and indoor recreating space, we create the heart of Seaside right there.”
In September, the board authorized Skyler Archibald, the park district’s executive director, to work with a real estate agent and deliver an offer to the Seaside School District.
The park district and school district agreed to a price of $2.25 million in October. Following inspection reports, the park district issued a bid of $1.25 million which was rejected without a counteroffer. The park district revised their offer upward to $1.75 million. After a counteroffer of $2.15 million, the park district board authorized Archibald to meet the price.
The offer has been presented to the school district already, Archibald said after the meeting, with a final closing date “as soon as possible, assuming the offer is accepted. I couldn’t be happier for our community.”
The former middle school, located off of U.S. Highway 101 and Broadway, was among school district properties relocated to the new Spruce Drive location outside of the tsunami inundation zone. Built in 1949, the nearly 75,000-square-foot building received upgrades in 1979 and a new gym in 1994.
Three acres of the 5.4-acre property are zoned medium-density residential and the remaining portion is designated for commercial use.
The Seaside Visitors Bureau and public restrooms located on the property are leased and maintained to the city on a long-term basis.
The park district will enter into a lease purchase or loan of up to $2.5 million, with the appointment of special counsel and municipal adviser Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP of Portland.
“We need to have a vision for the community and come together to make that happen,” Marshall said. “I think that the board and staff are extremely committed to the project. I really believe in the years to come we’ll look back and really be proud of what we were able to accomplish together as a community.”