Parkview residents authorize district to sell Footville Primary School

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Gina Duwe
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

FOOTVILLE--Officials took the first step Monday night toward selling Footville Primary School.

The district doesn't have immediate plans, however, to sell the school in Footville that will close when school construction in Orfordville is complete, Superintendent Steve Lutzke said.

Nineteen residents at the Parkview School District annual meeting Monday night unanimously authorized the school board to sell the school at 121 Janesville St., Footville, Lutzke said. The state requires districts to get approval from its residents to sell or dispose of property, he said.

“It looks like we won't be doing that anytime soon,” he said of selling the property.

Construction will take over the two Orfordville school buildings this fall after a $17 million referendum in April approved swapping the grade levels at the buildings by remodeling the junior/senior high school and remodeling and adding on to the elementary school.

As part of the plan, Footville Primary School will close once its students are moved into the remodeled elementary school.

When that will happen is still undecided, Lutzke said. Students will attend the Footville school this school year and potentially during the 2015-16 school year, he said.

The new junior/senior high is scheduled to be done about May 2015, he said. After school ends in spring 2015, construction crews will go “gangbusters” over summer on the high school to convert it for elementary students by fall.

Attention will then shift to the junior high, where the primary students will move, he said.

“The primary (school) portion is the last one that's going to get worked on,” he said.

Lutzke said he hasn't heard from any buyers interested in the Footville school, but the district hasn't been advertising it. He anticipates a board discussion in coming months about when to put it on the market—after everything is moved out or in advance of a move.

With Monday's vote by district residents, the school board could grant final approval of a sale.

Also Monday, voters authorized the district to dispose of the church building located on the Footville school campus. Some fire department members have approached the district about using the building for firefighter training if the district removes the asbestos, Lutzke said.

Firefighters burning the building could dispose of the building rather cheaply. The district would be responsible for filling in the basement hole, Lutzke said. He didn't know the age of the building or how the district acquired it but said the interior is in bad shape.

The district uses it for storage, and plans had called for tearing to down for a parking lot or new storage facility.

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