Education

Rock Hill school board mulls selling office, building $6.5M site

The Rock Hill School District has received an offer to purchase its office building and 12-acre property for $2.7 million. The board is expected to vote on the offer Monday.
The Rock Hill School District has received an offer to purchase its office building and 12-acre property for $2.7 million. The board is expected to vote on the offer Monday.

The Rock Hill school board on Monday will consider an offer to purchase the school district property on Anderson Road for $2.7 million.

The board is also scheduled to vote on whether to build a new office for up to $6.5 million.

The offer to buy the 12-acre office and grounds at 660 North Anderson Road for $2.7 million is consistent with the asking price, according to a memo to the board from Superintendent Kelly Pew. The offer “compares favorably with independent appraisals of the property in 2011 and 2015,” Pew wrote.

The board, which meets at 6 p.m Monday, is scheduled to vote separately on whether to spend up to $6.5 million to build a new district office. Proceeds from the North Anderson Road sale would go toward the cost of a new site, leaders said.

After the purchase offer was received earlier this month, the school board discussed at a workshop session several options for moving forward. The office property has been on the market four years.

Possibilities include moving the district office to the Lowenstein Building at Knowledge Park or building a new office on three acres of district property on Orange Street, next to the Central Child Development Center.

Pew proposed renovating a 30,000-square-foot gym space at the Flexible Learning Center off Flint Street and relocating the district office there, at a cost of $3.6 million.

Pew wrote in the memo the offer to buy the district property, including a parcel that was marketed separately, includes a commercial lease.

The lease would allow the district to remain in the entire building for up to six months after closing and to remain in 60 percent of the building for up to a year after closing, with base rent waived, she wrote.

“This generous offer to lease back at no additional cost to the district affords us the opportunity to acquire a new district office facility,” Pew wrote.

According to the memo, the sale of the district property may be contingent on approval of the York County Council, unless specifically exempted.

Leaders have said the Orange Street property includes enough land to build a new district office but closing a portion of Orange Street, between Black and Flint streets, would be necessary to create space for parking. Leaders said the district would need to work with the city of Rock Hill on that issue.

Board members shared mixed views of the proposals during the workshop meeting.

Board Chairman Jim Vining opposed the move, saying the purchase price would not cover the cost of a new office, and board member Jane Sharp questioned how a new office would improve student learning.

However, several other board members, including Helena Miller and Terry Hutchinson, voiced some support for considering a new office, citing a need to serve employees and consider maintenance costs of an older building.

Jennifer Becknell: 803-329-4077

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