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Share Your Thoughts on the Future of the Maryland School Property

Read this helpful background information or scroll down for a link to the survey.

The School District of Clayton is interested in receiving some very high-level feedback from our community about options for next steps with the Maryland School Property. The District last used Maryland School as an elementary school in 1980. Since being closed as an elementary school, the school and its grounds have been used as:
  • Rental property to a private preschool/elementary school (Clayton Academy)
  • Temporary site for District’s early childhood education program during Prop S construction
  • Temporary home for The Wilson School after a fire
The property is divided in to seven parcels - six single-family lots along Westmoreland Ave and one, larger (approximately two-acre) parcel on which the school is located.

Map of Maryland School property
 
In June 2009, the School District of Clayton’s Board of Education voted to declare the property surplus and to market it for sale at the appropriate time. That recommendation followed up on work that was completed as part of the District’s 2008 District-Wide Facilities Master Plan. As part of that planning effort, a committee specifically studied and made recommendations related to the Maryland School. A number of community representatives served on the Properties and Partnerships Committee, which recommended the District take “action at an appropriate time by declaring these facilities surplus, putting the properties on the market, and using the sale revenue to address needs elsewhere in the District.”

During 2012, the Board of Education decided to put the property on the market. In October 2013, the District accepted an offer from Love Investment Co. and entered into a purchase and sale agreement to construct a multi-family housing development that required rezoning from R-2 “Single-Family Dwelling” to R-4 “Low Density Multi-Family Dwelling”. The offer from Love was selected because it provided the highest and best use for the property as well as a long-term revenue stream of additional property taxes. In February 2016, after failure to obtain the necessary rezoning, Love Investment Co. terminated the purchase and sale agreement.

Future Needs
Current long-term enrollment projections indicate that the need to accommodate a fourth elementary school or additional administrative space is unlikely. District enrollment has remained stable for quite some time, varying by ±3 percent over the last 20 years. Even though this school year saw enrollment hit its highest mark in 20 years, about one-fourth of the District’s current enrollment is from non-resident students and the District has the ability to manage the enrollment of its non-resident student population in order to maintain its class-size standards.

Current Status of the Building
The Maryland School is in a significant state of disrepair. The building was constructed in 1931 and accommodated approximately 250–300 elementary school students at its peak. Restrooms, sinks and drinking fountains are sized and mounted for elementary school students. The boiler system and electrical wiring is outdated and in need of complete replacement. Building maintenance and capital improvements have been delayed for the past several years as the future use of the building was being considered. Significant major renovations would be necessary to bring the building up to code and make it usable for school purposes. It is estimated that it would require approximately $5 to $6 million in renovations to bring the building back in to a usable condition.
 
Options
The survey will ask you to evaluate the following four options as well as provide you with an opportunity to suggest your own ideas. The options on the survey, which are based on options developed by the District's Long-Term Financial Planning Committee, include:
  • Renovate the building for potential future use by the District or an outside entity.
    • This option would require a capital expenditure by the District to renovate the building (likely funded through a voter-approved bond issue).
    • This option could provide a revenue stream if the building is leased to an outside entity.
  • Make only needed repairs to the building and retain the entire property for potential future use.
    • This option would require a capital expenditure by the District to repair the building.
  • Sell the entire property to be developed. (Current R-2 zoning allows for single-family homes.)
    • This option would provide an initial infusion of revenue from the sale of the property as well as a potential long-term revenue stream from property taxes.
  • Sell the six out-lots (for single-family homes). Retain the remaining two acres for potential future use. This would include razing the building, creating green space with the remaining two acres, which could be used for potential future use or eventually sold for single family homes.
    • This option would require a capital expenditure by the District to raze the building, which could be paid for with proceeds from the sale of the six out-lots.
    • This option would provide an initial infusion of revenue from the sale of the six out-lots as well as a potential long-term revenue stream from property taxes.

Click here to take the survey.

 
 



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