Derby Public Schools will list two properties for sale by a real estate agent following a recommendation from the school board.
At its July 8 meeting, the Derby Board of Education turned down a bid for Pleasantview Elementary School and the USD 260 Administrative Center, 120 E. Washington.
The district sought bids for the properties from Jan. 15 to May 31, and received one joint offer from Josh Kirkhart of Auction ICT: $75,000 for Pleasantview and $55,000 for the administrative center.
“I think these bids are awfully low, especially for Pleasantview,” said BOE Vice President Justin Kippenberger.
Board members recommended in November 2018 that the district try to sell the properties on its own rather than explore other options, such as leasing or razing them.
But with only one lowball offer on the table, board members feel it’s the right time to go through a real estate agent.
“To be good stewards of taxpayer money, we probably want to at least explore the realtor route,” Kippenberger said.
At 40,279 square feet, the district has assessed Pleasantview Elementary at approximately $1.9 million, according to information from the Sedgwick County Appraiser’s Office. It is zoned as residential and platted for 20 single-family homes.
The administrative center, which is about 8,800 square feet, is assessed at $226,270. It is zoned as a central shopping district.
Pleasantview and the administrative center will be used for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
Joe Dessenberger, USD 260 director of finance and operations, said he expects the district will be out of both buildings by October or November 2020.
Realtor services will cost the district 6 percent of whatever commission it makes from the two buildings, according to a drafted agreement between the district and J.P. Weigand & Sons, Inc.
The real estate company recommended the district have both properties appraised before listing them, which Superintendent Heather Bohaty estimated would cost about $5,000.
Andy Watkins, who has a career background in banking, was the only board member to speak against having the properties appraised.
“These properties are only worth what people are willing to pay for them,” Watkins said. “I don’t know if I see a lot of value in having them appraised at this point.”
Board President Tina Prunier said the appraisals could serve as a starting point for selling the properties.
“If we don’t know what they appraise for, it’s kind of hard to set a price,” Prunier said.
Bohaty said she will reach out to officials at USD 259, who have previously had buildings appraised before selling them.
Board member Matt Hoag said hearing the Wichita school district’s experience could give USD 260 an idea of how well appraisal values align with actual sale values.
Bohaty will present a final real estate agreement and information about appraisals to the board at its next meeting, July 22.