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8:42 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

PUSD sale of one of three buildings scheduled for next week; others likely to be extended

Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy in Prescott.

Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy in Prescott.

PRESCOTT – A closing date for the sale of the former Dexter Elementary School building, now leased to the Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy, is still on target for Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The likelihood, though, is the expected closing dates for the district office and the vacant Miller Valley Elementary building slated for no later than Feb. 6 will need to be extended.

Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard said Wednesday afternoon that both the Governing Board and the prospective buyer, Ironline Partners in Phoenix, want some additional time to assure they get the best deal on those buildings. The buyer needs time to determine permitting for potential future uses, and board members want time to determine time and moving cost for administrative offices. The board, too, is committed to the community with making certain it gets the best price for these properties.

The proposed plan for relocation of the district offices is to move to the upper floors of the Washington Traditional School building that no longer houses an elementary school but is home to the district’s pre-school program, Discovery Gardens. Howard has stated the district has an architect reviewing how to convert upper floor classrooms into office spaces, but the district wants to be frugal with renovation costs.

“We’re reluctant to jump out of this building (the district offices on Granite Street) ‘til we know what those will be,” Howard said. “But we also want to get out from the overhead on these buildings.”

The Governing Board held a closed-door session on Tuesday night to talk about negotiations with the buyers. Much of the discussion revolved around timing to complete the transaction. Howard said he cannot reveal the specifics of those negotiation at this time, however, he said he expects at one of the board’s upcoming meetings a new time schedule will be arranged.

Asked if the sale of the other two buildings is in jeopardy, Howard said that has not been a part of any conversation and that at this time he remains optimistic the sale is moving forward as planned.

The sale of the former Dexter school on First Street has been in the works for several years, and Howard said district leaders are “pretty excited about not managing that building anymore.”

The current contract maintains the lease with Northpoint through the end of the school year, and Howard said he is confident the buyer is in conversation with the charter school leaders about its future.

“I know they’re all trying to work together,” Howard said.

The board will have an all-day retreat on Feb. 3 and board meeting on Feb. 7 and Howard expects those meetings will result in some kind of decision related to the new sale timetable.