BCRC interested in old BESPC
Steve Friend has an interest in the former Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center at 700 Chapel Street as a possible community center.
Friend, the director of the Baldwin City Recreation Commission, said the BCRC would use the building for many of its functions and community events.
However, he must first convince the Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education to donate the building to the BCRC. He talked to the school board at its meeting Monday night.
“We knew you were getting close to having this discussion, and we’ve been looking to pursue this for a while now,” Friend said. “When I came here, one of the goals of the recreation commission was to pursue a community center. It’s been on our plate for a while.”
Friend gave each board member a sketch of how he might use the rooms and multi-purpose room.
“It does look like it might be feasible to use parts of it,” Friend said. “What I gave you was a really rough layout of what might be possible. When you’re discussing this, just keep us in the back our your mind.”
Board President Alison Bauer asked Friend if the BCRC could purchase the building or just own it. Friend said the rec commission couldn’t purchase property, but it can own property given to it or rent property.
During discussion of other options, Superintendent Paul Dorathy said the district have an outside company, which sells old school buildings, have a public auction for the building. He also said the district could also talk to a local realtor about selling it.
Dorathy wasn’t sure how much the property would bring if it was put up for auction or sold to someone else. He did say the money couldn't go into the district’s general fund budget, but it could go into its capital outlay budget.
The school board directed Dorathy to get an appraisal of the building, along with a cost estimate for an appraisal of the entire lot, which includes the District Office and South Gym.