Plans for the sale of Marine Elementary to the City of Marine are official. Last week, the Stillwater School District board unanimously approved the previously tentative purchase agreement.
The agreement also had the administration’s backing.
“The purchase agreement in front of you meets the parameters you established during closed session,” the district’s finance director, Kristen Hoheisel, told board members at the Oct. 25 meeting. “Administration’s recommendation is to move forward with the purchase agreement.”
Board member Sarah Stivland praised Marine residents for the dedication demonstrated by the $950,000 offer.
“I think it’s incredibly remarkable that the people of Marine believe so much in the idea of having their own community school that they are putting their own hard-earned dollars up to buy that building and guarantee themselves a community school,” she said. “That’s incredibly rare. That’s something we should feel proud about, that that kind of attitude is in our community.”
According to Marine Councilman Bill Miller, Marine has had a local school as long as it has been a town, more than 175 years. It joined with the district in 1956, and that’s when Marine Elementary was built.
School Board Chair Jennifer Pelletier expressed satisfaction with the outcome and the process.
“This was one of the very first things I personally wanted to do upon being in this role,” she said. “I just want to say how very happy I am about this, that our meeting [with Marine city council members] was collaborative. It was kind. It was trusting and it was respectful. We expressed that we’re all in this for the same thing.”
Councilman Miller confirmed Pelletier’s thought.
“It’s amazing what happens when you get into a room and can actually talk, converse and communicate,” he said.
A 1.75 percent commission on the $950,000 sale will go to brokerage firm Cushman and Wakefield.
“When people go to look at what [the school district] actually got out of it, you have to subtract roughly $16,625, which was a commission for the realtors,” noted school board member Mike Ptacek.
Hoheisel noted that the firm had given the district a break on the commission.
Ptacek later moved to approve the purchase agreement, seconded by Stivland and approved by all.
Now that buyer and seller have agreed on initial terms of the sale, a 120-day due diligence period begins.
The City of Marine, which plans to bond for the building through Security State Bank of Marine, will hold a public hearing regarding the bond at 6 p.m., Nov. 8.
If all goes as planned, the sale will close in February 2019 and the school will open to students at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.