TIVERTON - The Tiverton Town Council will discuss a decision on the bid placed for the purchase of the Walter Ranger School in an executive session after Monday night's business meeting.
The town received just one sealed bid for the after a six-week marketing effort by the town's real estate broker to sell two of the town's vacant buildings. According to Jeff Brooks, of Hogan & Associates, the Ranger School's assessed value is $1,056,000 and the Nonquit School's assesed value is $1,072,000.
Tiverton is selling the two unused school buildings by way of a sealed bid auction with no minimum bids set.
The Walter Ranger School is located at 1185 Stafford Road and is on a busy commercial corridor of Stafford Rd. The building is over 22,000 square feet of living set on 1.1 acres. It is zoned General Commercial allowing a wide variety of uses.
is located at 117 Puncateest Neck Road across from Nonquit Pond. The building consists of 14,400 square feet of living space and sits on nearly 6 acres of land. It is zoned R-80.
According to Town Manager James C. Goncalo the council will decide whether or not to accept the bid and continue to work with Hogan & Associates to secure a buyer for the Nonquit building.
Over the past month Hogan & Associates held dozens of showings and established a website, www.TivertonAuction.com, to market the two buildings.
"Generally with the public buildings like this the sealed bid is the best," said Jeff Brooks of Hogan & Associates. "Everyone would submit (bids) with an expectation so the bids will be the highest and best right out of the gate."
Goncalo could not comment on any of the bid specifications, but said that the two buildings cost taxpayers less than $10,000 to maintain annually.
What was considered fair market value for the two vacant school buildings in 2009 is unrealistic today, a vacant buildings' study report states, and both buildings are not practical for town use. If the buildings do not sell, demolishing the schools and selling the land is another approach.
In 2009, the School Committee determined the old Ranger School would no longer be used and returned the over one-acre asset to the town. The current Ranger School opened in 2007 near the high school on North Brayton Road.
At one time it was suggested that renovations to the Ranger School would cost over $3 million, since it is not code compliant. Of nearly 300 public surveys returned to the town IN 2011, 22 percent said they wanted the building retained for municipal use, while 14 percent said that all municipal services be consolidated to the old school. However, the report states that major renovations would be required to address its electrical, heating, communications and building space.
A recommendation was made last winter by the Town Council and town planner to create a request-for-proposal to sell the six-acre lot of the Nonquit School. It was closed in 2003 due to budgetary constraints and in 2009 the School Committee determined it would no longer be used and returned the property to the town.
The building’s integrity is in better condition than the old Ranger School, the report states. However, a $2.3 million estimate was tagged onto the Nonquit School to come up to school-code required renovations. Public surveys overwhelmingly indicated the school not be retained by the town.
If any work is to be done there, the report recommends that an archaeological study be conducted there since it sits on an Indian burial ground.
Despite its aesthetic surroundings of Nonquit Pond, the committee determined the building will sell for much less than its assessed value. The RFP should be the first step to market the Nonquit School property and recommended selling the property as residential if alternatives are not presented through the RFP findings, according to the report.
The Town reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, or to accept the proposal it deems to be in the best interest of the Town.