MILTON — Administrators in the Milton Area School District will be moving forward with negotiating agreements with two separate entities interested in leasing space in the former Montandon Elementary School building.
The board in June voted to close the school beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, consolidating its students and staff to Baugher Elementary School.
During Tuesday’s board committee session, board members verbally gave Superintendent Dr. Cathy Keegan approval for administrators to negotiate lease agreements for the building with the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) and Diversified Treatment Alternatives.
Both during and after Tuesday’s meeting, Keegan explained some of the specifics of proposals which the board has received from the two entities.
Keegan said CSIU is interested in leasing 11,952 square feet of the building. That leaves 7,025 square feet for Diversified Treatment Alternatives to lease.
“We were expecting a third proposal, which I did not get,” Keegan said. “That party was interested in purchasing the building.”
According to Keegan, the district is looking to negotiate a potential five-year lease with CSIU. She said the lease could start out at $125,000 per year and include annual increases.
An initial $84,000 annual lease could be negotiated with Diversified Treatment Alternatives, Keegan said.
If two different entities end up leasing space in the building, Keegan said the district will have to install a wall to separate the areas being used by each.
“Both parties said they would require some renovations,” Keegan said. “The board would have to decide if we would incur those costs.”
She is also estimating it will cost $86,000 per year for utilities and grounds fees to maintain the building. Keegan said it will have to be negotiated if the district will cover those costs of if they will be incurred by the two entities leasing the building.
Board member Dr. Alvin Weaver said he will not be participating in discussions on the potential lease agreements. He also cannot vote on the agreements as he is the board’s representative to the CSIU board and he is employed by Diversified Treatment Alternatives.
In August, the board approved moving forward with a $138,000 phase three roof replacement project at the former school building. Phase one of the project was completed earlier this year at a cost of $147,000, while phase two cost $188,000.
The board on Tuesday also heard from John Howard, of the Architectural Studio, who presented some details from the district’s feasibility study on a proposed $3.9 million high school stadium renovation project.
In order to accommodate a proposed high school building expansion, Howard said the current football stadium would be demolished and moved closer to the baseball field.
According to Howard, the renovation project would include installing a turf field and new track.
A new concession stand, bleachers, ticket box and press box would also be built.
Athletic Director Rod Harris told the board the new bleachers would have to be constructed in a way that replicates the storage space and restrooms which are currently located under the home bleachers.
Keegan noted that Harris suggested leasing the equipment needed to maintain the turf field, as opposed to purchasing the equipment, due to the cost of buying the equipment.
In conjunction with renovations to the stadium, Howard said an addition would be built onto the high school in order to expand the district’s locker room space, add an athletic training area and incorporate fitness, weight and wrestling training rooms.
Howard said the expansion would cost between $3.1 and $3.9 million. However, he said that price assumes other renovations would be done to the high school at the same time.
If the project would be completed without other renovations, he said the price would be higher, although he did not indicate what the price may be.
Keegan said the board would consider other potential renovations to the high school.
Harris said the proposed size of the expansion must be larger than Howard is initially estimating as not enough space is included to accommodate the wresting room.
Board President Dave Edinger directed Howard to come back to the board with a revised proposal, based on the recommendations by Harris.
The board in August approved moving forward with a $10 million renovation project at Baugher Elementary School.
Keegan previously said the project will focus on replacing the doors, floors, walls and windows in the building. Upgrades to the HVAC system will also be made, and a new sprinkler system will be installed.
The board in July approved borrowing $9.9 million, to be used for renovation projects in the district. The district secured a 2.7 percent interest rate for the borrowing, which will be paid back through 2047.
Tuesday’s meeting included an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.