The Derby American Legion post is buying the school district’s former administrative center for $100,000 in a deal that will allow the post to have its own club and offer space to the public.
School board members unanimously signed off on the purchase at their Aug. 5 meeting.
“I think this is the start of a nice relationship,” board president Tina Prunier said.
The John M. West American Legion Post 408 plans to take occupancy of the 8,800-square-foot building on Jan. 2, 2021, said Commander Bryan Page.
“Once they vacate the property, we will go in and do a renovation,” Page said. “The renovation is going to encompass the new post home for the American Legion family, which is the American Legion itself, the American Legion Auxiliary, sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Riders.”
The post originally offered $75,000 for the building, “and over the past several weeks, we negotiated to the point where we ended up at $100,000,” Page said.
The American Legion will use the center as a meeting hall and private club. In addition to a couple of small conference rooms, the post will have a large meeting hall that can hold up to 100 people and a banquet hall that can hold about 180 people.
“We will put in a kitchen and a canteen for a private club,” he said. “The canteen will be isolated from the meeting halls and the banquet halls. It will be a private club for the American Legion members and their guests. The meeting halls, the banquet halls and the conference rooms will be made available to people who may want to rent them out.”
The post has been meeting at the Derby Public Library.
“We used to share a building with the VFW on South Baltimore, and we realized this year that we needed to find a home of our own so we could expand our mission.”
Moving out was a natural push
for the post to seek a new home,
The post was interested in the building because “No. 1, it’s a well-maintained building. And the size is adequate – more than adequate, really,” he said.