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|FIRST ON WGIL: District 217 Ends Lease at Former Middle School Building
|UPDATED 12:13 p-m 9/17/9 The Abingdon School District is permanently cutting ties with one of its former schools.
District 217 Superintendent Dr. Tami Roskamp says the school board decided last month to no longer lease the former Abingdon Middle School gymnasium. The move went into effect on September 1st.
Roskamp says the decision was made based on multiple factors. The biggest issue was the cost. She says it was not financially feasible for the district to continue leasing the facility because the district is held to state standards that businesses are not.
Roskamp says officials in the school district have a responsibility to the community to make good financial decisions, and continuing to lease the former middle school building would not have been a good one.
In addition, Roskamp says the school district was not able to get the building ready for the 2009-10 school year because of Health/Life Safety issues. She did not elaborate on what those issues were.
One of the owners of the building, Dave Dechow, says the district told him it would not be continuing the lease because of budget concerns, but no Health/Life Safety issues in the building were ever brought to his attention, something he says he would've liked to have been aware of. Dechow says he would have been willing to work with the school district, depending on the specific Health/Life Safety issue and its cost.
The District 217 School Board and former superintendent Dr. Magie Stuart decided to close the former middle school building in 2006 to save money, and the following school year moved the 6th through 8th grade students to the high school building, which is now known as Abingdon Middle/High School.
The district sold in the building in November of 2007 to Dave and Rich Dechow. The plan at the time was to rent out space in the building to other businesses and allow the school district use of the gymnasium for the next several years.
Roskamp says all extra-curricular games and practices for the the current school year will be held in the Abingdon Middle/High School gymnasium. She says athletic director Toby Whiteman is trying to work through scheduling the events to accommodate the location change.
|09 17 09 by Newsroom
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