City Council, School Board Set Sharing Agreement

In separate Monday meetings, the Sioux City School Board and Sioux City Council nearly simultaneously approved a sharing agreement that will allow the district to re-purpose unused portions of the downtown public museum for specialty courses.

The school district in mid-July approved a purchase agreement with Museum Building Property Inc. to pay $1.5 million for 75,000 square feet of the building at 607 Fourth St. That purchasing-process step necessitated the new lease agreement between the city and the district.

The city council voted first on the agreement, passing it 4-0, with Councilman Dan Moore — who serves as the school district’s legal counsel on real estate matters — abstaining. The school board followed just over an hour later with a 7-0 vote, so the 50-year lease has been set, at $1 per year.

The district’s plans include constructing new rooms in a portion of the museum building that at one time housed a Delta Air Lines call center before the center closed in 2012, which resulted in 165 lost jobs. A large portion of the building was converted into a more expansive home for the public museum.

The lease says common area charges will be split between the museum and the school district based on the square footage used. The museum will be responsible for 45 percent of the costs with the exception of the elevators, where it will be responsible for 20 percent.

The move is seen by the district as a more centralized way to offer Life Academy and Career Academy courses, which have previously been spread through all three high schools — West, North and East — as well as Western Iowa Tech Community College and the downtown Ho-Chunk Centre. The classrooms could be converted by the 2018-19 school year.

View the full story from the Sioux City Journal

by Bret Hayworth