Renaissance Center purchase option fails in Dickson school board vote

A vote to buy a $ 500 option on the Renaissance Center, allowing Dickson County schools to further explore the building’s purchase, failed by a 3-3 vote from the county school board on Thursday night.

Board attorney Alan Hall told board members that buying options “gives us time to value the property without it being sold by us, so to say”.

Board member Steve Haley said he voted against the option because he didn’t believe the school system should buy the building.

Steve haley

“I don’t see how the installation is going to work, in my opinion,” Haley said. “I am not convinced this is a project we should undertake.”

With the information he was able to gather, Haley said he was unsure where the funding would come from to purchase and maintain the building.

In early January, school principal Dr Danny Weeks and board chair Kirk Vandivort said a foundation had offered to help the school district purchase or renovate the distinctive Highway 46 building in Dickson. Vandivort said they had not yet received permission to publicly name the foundation during the working session of the board of directors meeting.

The building was discussed by board members as a possible combination of an arts loving school and school administration offices.

The building is listed for $ 7 million, although Weeks said he believed the school system could buy the facility cheaply. School system staff said about $ 4.7 million in upgrades were needed to prepare the installation for the installation of offices and classrooms.

Vandivort, who voted for the option, said the purchase of the Renaissance Center could ultimately “save the county millions of dollars,” noting that the facility is cheaper than building a new building of similar size. .

“We are talking about a 110,000 square foot building. We just spent $ 30 million on a building, the Burns Middle. And it’s a comparable-sized building that we might get for a fraction of that, ”Vandivort said. “I’m not saying to rush or not to do your due diligence. But I think we have to stop and watch him like a plank… ”

In addition to fundraising issues, Haley said, “I don’t think (the Renaissance Center is) a benefit to our kids.

Haley also said her constituents and community have all voiced opposition.

“The only contribution I have had so far has not been for this,” Haley said.

Board member Joe Underwood expressed concern about the regular maintenance of the facility and all school facilities.

Board members Vandivort, Josh Lewis and Patricia Hudson voted for the option. Haley, Underwood and Sonya Brogdon voted against the option.

Hudson asked if discussions and research on the purchase of the Renaissance Center could continue. Vandivort said the discussion could be postponed to the working session meeting.

Related: Dickson Renaissance Center as a school? The foundation could help with the $ 4.7 million upgrade, purchase

Aerial photo of the Renaissance Center in Dickson.

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