This is part of the multimillion-dollar athletic fields redevelopment plan the school board pushed through July 2013. The Plan includes tearing down the current maintenance shed on the high school grounds and relocating it elsewhere, replacing the shed with more parking spaces.
There were originally 3 options on the the table with different numbers in May and June 2014: fix the current building for $135,000, build new for $3.6-6 million, or lease and renovate for $3.1-4.5 million.
The school board had decided on the option to lease and renovate, and very quickly, former school board president Ron Link’s vacant manufacturing building was zeroed in on. From information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, there is no evidence any other building was seriously considered.
The lease, approved 9/23/14, will cost taxpayers $144,000/yr for 10 yrs ($1.4 million in all), plus $423,000 to make it “move in ready”,”to make the space comparable to the existing facility in terms of functions supported.” So for $1.8 million ($1.4 M + $423,000), we can have the equivalent of what we now have (with $135,000 needed to bring the current building up to fire code). To renovate it further to their desired state, the school board will likely spend at least an additional $1.2 million at a later date (remember the $3.1 M lease and renovate price tag).
Beacon News reporter Kalyn Belsha did a fine job investigating for her article, “Despite taxpayer concerns, Batavia School Board approves maintenance lease”, 9/2/14. It’s worth reading.