Old Lake Tahoe school site sold; affordable housing project eyed
STATELINE, Nev. — Forty years after its construction as Kingsbury Middle School, the property at 1900 Echo Drive on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore is on track for new ownership.
Douglas County School District trustees have agreed to accept a $3.125 million offer from Glenbrook-based Lake Parkway LLC to purchase the Kingsbury school site.
The total price was settled at $3.15 million after a negotiation in which the buyer agreed to share the property’s ongoing utility costs.
“We currently pay all the utilities on that facility, and depending on how hot it is or how cold, it runs anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 each month,” Superintendent Teri White explained. “So they increased the sale price by $25,000 through that negotiation.”
Kingsbury Middle School closed in June 2008 due to declining student enrollment at Douglas County’s three Lake Tahoe schools. The property was put up for sale in January 2012 at an original asking price of $4 million.
White said Lake Parkway LLC, which lists Patrick K. Taylor as managing member on the Nevada Secretary of State website, first expressed an interest in buying the property more than a year ago.
The company has indicated its intent to use the property for an affordable housing project, she added.
“They requested a 12-month closing,” White said. “We’re also working with the county and TRPA to get the revised redevelopment plan approved, so the 12-month closing just buys some time to make sure that those two things are in place by the time we’re ready to close.
“It’s just nice to have it under escrow and we’re looking forward to an agreement and working through that,” she said.
Funds from the sale will help the district move forward with some important capital construction projects.
“Selling that property not only saves us all the utilities we pay every month, but the $3.15 million dollars can help out with some of the projects that we haven’t had the funding to do,” White said. “Holly (Luna, chief financial officer) is currently working on improvements at Carson Valley Middle School … we just don’t have enough in the budget to finish all of those, so this does help.”
The SB411 tax initiative that will go before Douglas County voters in the November general election is designed to generate funds for capital projects. A committee comprised of community members earlier this year agreed to send the quarter-cent sales tax initiative to voters after prioritizing a list of health and safety projects.
“We have almost $40 million worth of projects that we could be working on and we don’t even have $10 or $12 million to work on them,” White said. “So we peck away at it every year as money becomes available. So that $3 million will help with some of the projects that are not targeted for the health and safety of the SB411 committee work and give us a little more to do some of those other projects.”
Kingsbury Middle School was constructed at a cost of $1.5 million and opened in the fall of 1976 with 154 students and six full-time teachers. The first principal was George Mross, whose daughter, Rommy Cronin, now serves as director of curriculum for the Douglas County School District.