Let’s try this again: Wellington board approves selling the junior high building for $150,000

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It’s on, it’s off, now it’s on again. So goes the proposed purchase of the Wellington junior high building by Garrison Properties of Prairie Village, Kans.The Wellington school board approved Garrison owner/broker Gary Hassenflu’s request to purchase the building for $150,000 so he can turn it into a 42-unit apartment complex, at Thursday night’s meeting provided he gets federal funding in May. Hassenflu was in attendance to make the request. The motion passed 5-2 with David Peck and Larry Mangan voting against the proposed purchase.It’s a waiting game for both the purchaser and the seller. The Wellington school board passed the exact same motion in January, 2013, but financing fell through. Hassenflu said he will submit another application for federal housing tax credits in February. But he won’t know the status of that grant until May. If he receives the grant then the purchase will be a go. If he does not then it may be back to the drawing board or he may walk away.Garrison Properties did not get the approval of a federal grant in May, and therefore did not have the means to develop the property.Wellington board member Angie Ratcliff asked Hassenflu what will be the difference this time around.Hassenflu said he is lowering the rent in the application. He said upon the urging of a housing authority which thought it was too high the first time around in Wellington, he said the rent rates will be lowered. That should give the application a better chance of approval.“We took that into consideration, and agreed that if we lowered the rent, we could still make it work,” Hassenflu said. No proposed rent rates were presented to the news media at Thursday’s meeting.The question for the board wasn’t so much getting rid of the junior high as it was tying up the building that long of time for a proposed purchase that might not go through. Peck said his big concern was that it would be hard to justify holding the building back if there was someone else interested in purchasing the building.But waiting has been the norm for a building that has been mostly vacant since 2006 when students vacated the premises for the newly remodeled Wellington Middle School to the north. The building has been used for community theater, game time locker rooms and athletic practices.Garrison Property first approached the board in January, 2013 with the desire to buy the building. The board agreed for the same price of $150,000 which included the parking lot. His proposal was (and still is) to build 600-700 square foot one bedroom apartments; 700 square foot two-bedroom apartments and 1,100 square foot three bedroom apartments. The gymnasium would be turned into apartments but the auditorium would remain intact for the community.Hassenflu then got the approval of the Wellington Planning Commission and the Wellington City Council to rezone it into a multi-family residential zone.However, once the financing fell through in May, the board was left with the junior high building again. A couple of developers expressed lukewarm interest over the summer but nothing materialized from the talks, said Rick Weiss, Wellington School Superintendent.The purchase property is significantly lower than what then Sumner County Appraiser Della Rowley appraised it for at $641,570 as a single family R1 building in 2012.Wellington board president Jackie Berryman said its appraised value isn’t the significant issue here.“We are looking at a difference between $0 and $150,000,” Berryman said. “That doesn’t begin to address the issue of the costs of maintaining the building. We can’t afford to do that.”Hassenflu said asbestos removal alone could cost $200,000.“You are looking at a building with a negative value,” Hassenflu said.Ratcliff said one of her patrons was worried about a group that donated a trophy case in the building and if they can still retrieve it. Hassenflu said anything that isn’t bolted down can be removed.“I’m sure this is a maintenance headache and you can use the school funds for other uses,” Hassenflu said. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (6) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +2 Vote up Vote down mr ed · 360 weeks ago let me get this straight. Without our federal tax dollars this guy cant buy a building and convert into apartments that even the government said his rent was to high. Does the school board not know how to spell shister Report Reply 0 replies · active 360 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Whs86 · 360 weeks ago I hope this board is planning ahead for loss of locker rooms and practice facility. This also means we lose our only tennis court parking and a lot of event parking for football games. Our community needs to look into a combined facility built in that area with a gym,locker rooms and workout facility. This would help fill a need in this community Report Reply 0 replies · active 360 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Basinga19 · 360 weeks ago If this property is removed from the market, why doesn’t he put down a non refundable deposit??? Report Reply 0 replies · active 360 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Roy Rogers · 360 weeks ago You are right WHS86. Something has to be done and it has to done now. Locker facilities just don’t pop up over night—building, lockers, showers, toilets, lights, heat/ac, etc. etc. Don’t forget, it has to be a building big enough for 2 teams. Let’s go school board, somebody on the board be the first to step forward and address this situation. Wellington is already the only AVCTL and Pioneer League member that does not have enough gym facilities for basketball. Never though Wellington would be last in anything. Report Reply 0 replies · active 360 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down little bits · 360 weeks ago The board had an opportunity several years ago to sell this building and let it slip through their fingers. If they had acted then they wouldn’t be in this situation again. Report Reply 0 replies · active 360 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down RedDemo · 331 weeks ago Abatement is the only solution for asbestos, which means either removing or encasement of asbestos containing material. Report Reply 0 replies · active 331 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. 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