Plans for Monterey School Building Sale Clear Another Hurdle

Monterey Elementary School
Monterey Elementary School

The Culver Community Schools Corporation’s path to selling the Monterey School Building has suddenly gotten a bit easier. Last month, school corporation attorney Jeff Houin told the school board the building would have to be registered with the Indiana Department of Education, which would place it on a statewide list of unused buildings. The idea there is to give potential charter schools a chance to lease the building.

Houin said the building hadn’t already been placed on the list since it was being used for a period of time for some community events. However, during this week’s school board meeting, Interim Superintendent Chuck Kitchell said that turned out not to be entirely accurate. “At the last meeting, you asked me to look into or get the Monterey Building on the state’s unused building list,” he said. “When I was looking though that information and talked to the state, I found out that there was a reason that we weren’t on the unused building list already, and that’s because we’ve already been on it for two years and so they took us off that list. So at this point, we are free to do with that building as we see fit.”

Houin says the school board now has a couple of options to look into, “There’s a bidding process that’s very similar to a purchase. Basically, you accept sealed bids, offers to purchase it, and you open those at a bid meeting and sell it to the high bid. You can also, instead of going through that process, choose to sell it in a one-time auction. Basically, you schedule a public auction, hire an auctioneer, sell it like any other real estate auction.”

The Culver School Board decided the next step should be to get an updated appraisal of the property before planning an eventual sale.

The school corporation estimates selling the building will save about $50,000 a year on maintenance costs. Corporation officials, though, have noted that not all of that money comes from the General Fund, which is where teacher salaries are budgeted. It’s also where the corporation is struggling most.