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Milton board to delay vote on CESA 2 purchase

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
June 15, 2011
— The Milton School Board likely will delay a special electorate vote on a plan to buy the former CESA 2 building.

The move came amid news from district consultants who say inspections showed the building could need $200,000 in repairs and upgrades, and has possible environmental "conditions."


According to district consultants:


-- The building could need a sprinkler system installed if it's used as a school. It could cost $100,000.


-- It also could need $75,000 in work to three parts of the roof that are showing signs of wear.


-- Preliminary tests showed possible asbestos, heavy metals, mold and radon in the building.


"It's a surprise, but it's why we had inspections done," said school board President Rob Roy, a member of the board's budget and planning committee. The committee moved Tuesday to delay a special meeting and an electorate vote slated for Monday, June 20.


The vote would have asked residents to give the board authority to buy the building. The board had not rescheduled the vote pending a meeting scheduled today.


Prior to the inspections, the board approved an option to buy the building at 448 E. High St. for $875,000. It has been vacant since February, when tenant CESA 2 relocated.


The district wants to use the building to relocate its offices and MECAS alternative school, which are in rented space. Financing options include borrowing and reserve funds.


Roy and board members Bob Cullen and Tom Westrick, also members of the board committee, said they want time to get firm details on the building's condition before asking the public to authorize buying it.


"If the public has questions about how good we did our homework, they're less likely to authorize it (buying the building), even if it's a good deal," Roy said. "At this late date, it's unfortunate that we have another assignment, but it's homework we've got to do."


The committee recommended the board and the district consider more environmental testing at the building, and review costs to repair the roof and add sprinklers.


The district holds an option on the building until Oct. 1, and the Milton City Council must approve a conditional-use permit before it can be used as a school.



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