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School board negotiates building sale

By
JACKIE KOCH

A purchase agreement counter-offer for the sale of the administration building at $30,000 was approved at Monday’s meeting of the Tecumseh Public Schools Board of Education, and will be returned to Woda Cooper Development in the hopes that the transaction can move forward.

During discussion of the purchase agreement and the development company’s offer of $10,000 to purchase the structure to renovate it into a multi-family residential unit, Superintendent Rick Hilderley said that after the last board meeting he worked with the district’s lawyer to develop an amended purchase agreement with a price of $30,000. He addressed board member questions about whether the board could impose deed restrictions so that the buyer could not re-sell the building for another educational purpose. He advised that the board was not allowed to impose any such restrictions. He also said they could add to the agreement that the purchasers could not tear the building down, and that the board can make the $3,000 good faith deposit non-refundable.

If Woda Cooper Development does not get the tax credit grants they are seeking in February, it is stipulated in the purchase agreement that they will decline the purchase of the building
. Trustee Ed Tritt asked about legal fees related to the sale of the property, and Hilderley said the district has already spent around $1,500 on fees but he does not anticipate that more legal fees will be forthcoming.

The board considered but declined to change any other details of the purchase agreement and unanimously approved the $30,000 price.  

On the 2020-2021 first budget revisions, Hilderley requested the board delay action. “We really want to make sure that our people accounting is accurate,” he said. “There isn’t really a rush right now, and we want to make sure we have everything as accurate as we can.” He stressed that an urgent budget issue is the necessary hiring for the technology department and that he plans to post the positions and conduct interviews over the next two to three weeks, so if the budget is amended the district can make the needed hires.

In other board news, regarding a grievance by more than two dozen high school teachers addressing their difficulty in teaching both in person and online classes, Hilderley said that before he could address the grievance he received a message from the Michigan Education Association. The teachers have stated they are willing to postpone any action on the grievance until at least November 9.

Hilderley introduced the new communications director, Victor Pratt, who has experience as a producer for Toledo’s Channel 11. Pratt will be working on the district website and app as well as promoting the district. His first day will be Monday, Nov. 2.

Those present at the meeting recognized High School Principal Griff Mills with thanks and congratulations on his recent announcement that he has accepted the position of superintendent of Taylor Public Schools. “Taylor community schools will be getting one of the best at what he does,” Hilderley said of Mills.

Trustee Tim Simpson reported on a fundraiser for eighth grade student Julianna Kurutz, who is undergoing cancer treatment. A dinner at Simpson’s Tecumseh Golf Club sold 452 spaghetti dinners and garnered monetary donations to reach a total of $10,000 for Kurutz’s care.

Hilderley stated that the high school principal posting closed on Monday and some interviews were set up this week. Nine people applied for the position and the field has been narrowed to four candidates. He anticipates being able to introduce the new principal at the next board meeting.

The board accepted an anonymous donation of $50 to assist with delinquent food service program accounts, and approved a resolution regarding the open meetings act as well as the extended continuity of learning plan.

The next meeting of the board of education is Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

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