By CRISTINA JANNEY
The company that the Hays school district contracted with to purchase the former Washington school building will not be able to purchase the building at this time, the Hays school board learned at its meeting Monday night.
Overland Property Group did not receive the tax credits for its project therefore it will not be able to move forward with its plans to renovate the building into low-income apartments.
However, the developers received a letter from the state official in charge of the program urging the developers to reapply for the program in 2020.
Matt Gillam, vice president of Development for Overland Park Group, said based on that letter and the high scoring the property received in its application, he believes the group has a good possibility of receiving tax credits for the property next year.
Overland Property Group has the property under contract until December.
Gillam said the district could opt to extend the contract, terminate the contract or reenter a contract with Overland Park Group at a later date.
The board took no action on the contract Monday night. Gillam said the board could take some time to consider its options. He said he does not need a decision immediately.
Gillam noted his company has already spent $30,000 on the project and is still very serious about pursing the tax credits for the project.
USD 489 plans to vacate Washington school in August when it moves its Early Childhood Connections program to the newly renovated Oak Park Complex.
Oak Park Complex
The completion of the renovations for the Oak Park Complex are on schedule, according to representatives of Nabholz and Paul-Wertenberger Construction.
Three of the four buildings should be complete by Aug. 2 when the district is planning an open house in conjunction with the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. Building three should be done a little later in August.
The district is planning two moves into the new buildings. One will be the equipment and supplies from Washington school in about the third week in July. The move from Munjor will happen in August when building three is completed.
Play equipment from Munjor and Washington will also be moved to Oak Park in the coming weeks.
The board did not vote on a new name for the complex at its meeting Monday. Superintendent John Thissen presented a list of names to board that were submitted by members of the community. Thissen said he left off suggestion that included specific people’s names as the Kansas Association of School Boards recommends school districts not use specific people’s names for school buildings.
Thissen said the reasoning is the names may be political or not well known to the general public.
Greg Schwartz made a motion that the full list, including names that include specific people’s names, come back to the board at its next meeting. The administration will also bring its five recommendations of names from the community list to that meeting.
The board also voted to dissolve the Oak Park Condominium Association. The association is no longer needed because the school district now owns all of the property.
Once the condominium association is dissolved, the board gave Board Attorney Bill Jeter the authority to apply for tax exempt status for the property.