Sale of former Prescott elementary school delayed for review by state board

Miller Valley School Building. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Photo by Les Stukenberg.

Miller Valley School Building. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

The expected closing on the former Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott to a Phoenix developer has been delayed due to legal regulations that require the state Schools Facilities Board review the offer and conditions leading to a sale before it can become final.

Ironline Partners planned to conclude the sale on the historic school located at the corner of Iron Springs and Miller Valley roads on Tuesday, July 25.

Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard said this week the closing will be delayed because the final offer and the procedures leading up to the sale, including the voter’s decision in the fall of 2015 to sell the buildings, must be reviewed by the Department of Education’s Facilities Board. The board will meet on Aug. 2 but Howard said it is not yet firm that this matter will be on that agenda. If it is not, the review would occur at the board’s September meeting.

At the same time the board is reviewing the Miller Valley sale, the board will also review the prior sale of the former Dexter Elementary School that Ironline Partners purchased for $1 million in January. That building is leased to the Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy.

This state board is responsible for all school buildings in the state, and if land is donated or a community opts to sell land, the board must grant its approval.

Part of what the board wants to know is if the voters agreed to the sale, and if enrollment warrants such a sale, and as enrollment decreased for several years before leveling off in the last couple years, Howard said he sees no reason that there will be any hiccup in the prospective sale.

The Governing Board has already agreed to the seller’s terms, and a closing is pending as soon as the board gives its final nod, Howard said.

The district and its real estate brokers, Commercial Properties Northern Arizona, have spent the last school year working on the sale of three district buildings. With Miller Valley’s pending sale, the only other district building in need of a buyer is the district office building on South Granite Street. That building also has a potential buyer, but a deal is still in negotiation.

Ironline initially opted to buy that building, too, but backed away from that deal last spring.

“This is just another due diligence piece,” Howard said.