Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District board members got a look at the district’s newest purchase, Broadway Middle School.

Visiting in shifts with executive director Skyler Archibald, they toured the middle school, looking everywhere and opening every door, both to inventory what’s already there and note items that may require remediation.

Park district board members approved a resolution to seek financing for up to $2.5 million in a special meeting last Thursday.

With a purchase price of $2.25 million, 3 acres are zoned residential and 2.4 acres are zoned for commercial use of the 5.4-acre middle school property. The 73,000-square-foot building includes the school with two gyms, cafeteria and kitchen. The school is vacant after the school district moved the campus to a new location on Spruce Drive outside the tsunami inundation zone.

In seeking tax-exempt debt financing, the park district is represented by a member of the Special Districts Association of Oregon, Archibald said, using financing options the district has used in the past to expand the Sunset Pool and acquire park district property.

The park district has 45 days to conduct due diligence, at which point the earnest money would become nonrefundable.

With a building inspection underway and expected to be complete this week, “that will give us plenty of time to assess whether we need to order more reports or look into the boiler or HVAC,” Archibald said at a Tuesday board of directors work session.

“I don’t think we saw anything today that was crazy or alarming, but there were a few puddles that had accumulated inside in a couple of spots,” Archibald said.

These included moisture near a classroom, the weight room and a gym area, he said.

The school, built in 1949, received upgrades in 1979 and a new gym in 1994.

A 2019 business plan prepared by the park district and presented to the board of directors at the time showed an estimated renovation cost at $210,000, with an ongoing expense of repairs and maintenance at $75,000 annually.

Potential partners with the park district going forward include the city, which leases portions of the property, and the school district, which has shown interest in leasing part of the property as gym overflow and locker rooms for sporting events at Broadway Field.

The school district has also shown interest in leasing part of the property as gym overflow and locker rooms for sporting events at Broadway Field.

“Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation is a valued community partner,” Susan Penrod, superintendent of the Seaside School District, said this week. “We appreciate their commitment to Seaside, especially the health and wellness of our children. We are excited to see their new project develop.”

Park district board members also saw potential for commercial tenants on the property.

“There could be dance studios in there,” board member Michael Hinton said. “There could be a doggie day care. I’m looking forward to seeing this develop. It’s more than a landmark endeavor.”

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