The city of Green is taking a new approach in finding a purpose for the East Liberty Schoolhouse.
During the Nov. 28 council meeting, council approved to move the schoolhouse to the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC). The schoolhouse dates back to 1890 and the city spent more than $250,000 in 2015 to move it to make way for a Circle K.
Green Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said the CIC will be able to take proposals and have more flexibility with finding someone to take over the schoolhouse. The city has received several bids, but nothing has panned out.
Wiethe said the CIC has been quiet lately, but it met recently and said the corporation is interested in taking proposals to get the best project for the property.
“It will allow for a productive reuse and save the historical aspect of it,′ Wiethe said.
The CIC will allow for someone to either lease the schoolhouse or purchase it depending on the details of the agreement. The schoolhouse is in need of an extensive renovation, which is expected to be costly.
Wiethe said the city only has limited options to get rid of a property either through sealed bids or an auction.
“There is interest out there, but it has to be flexible interest,” Wiethe said.
Councilman John “Skip” Summerville said turning the project over to the CIC adds a lot of flexibility.
“I see no downside to the CIC,” Summerville said. “I really only see an upside.”
Wiethe said if the property were to be sold the money from the sale would come back to the city and the CIC would not hold onto it.
The FedEx site on Boettler Road was a CIC site before it was developed. The CIC also owns six acres of land at the end of Tabs Drive.
Wiethe said the Historic Preservation Board will also be involved with the project as it moves forward.
This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.comAlso in the news: