F.A.Q. Regarding the BMS Opportunity:
Why buy the Broadway Middle School building?
The District is without adequate space for fitness programs and youth programs. One of the greatest needs in our community right now is childcare and preschool space, and we are already renting space at BMS to meet this need. In addition, having access to high quality fitness programs and facilities improves the quality of life for a community. To fully serve our community, it is imperative that we expand recreation activities for all patrons. In acquiring BMS, there is also an opportunity to contribute to our local economy through sports tourism. If we are able to purchase the building and renovate, our programs would generate significantly more revenue than our current facilities offer, allowing us to expand fitness areas, increase enrollment in our youth programs, and have access to two gymnasiums, meeting recreation needs of our community.
What are the benefits of purchasing BMS?
There are a number of benefits to purchasing this building: The cost is substantially less than new construction; 93% less than the project SEPRD proposed in 2018. This would allow SEPRD to stop renting space for many current programs, saving $7,980 and generating $9,600 annually in revenue. Cost savings through partnerships. Keep public property and facilities in the public trust. Create vital community space for sport practices, tournaments, meetings, special events, and more. Provide indoor recreation space for basketball, pickle ball, volleyball, indoor soccer, fitness classes. Maintain our ability to host the Seaside Farmers Market at its current and successful location.
What is the legal basis to purchase the BMS property?
The legal basis to purchase the BMS property is two-fold. First, under the ORS 266.410, Park and Recreation Districts have the power to: construct, reconstruct, alter, enlarge, operate, and maintain such lakes, parks, recreation grounds, and buildings as, in the judgement of the District Board, are necessary or proper, and for this purpose to acquire by lease, purchase, gift, devise, condemnation proceedings or otherwise such real and personal property and rights of way, either within or without the limits of the district as, in the judgement of the Board, are necessary or proper. Additionally, that statute stats that, Districts have the power to assess, levy, and collect taxes to pay the cost of acquiring sites and constructing, reconstructing, altering, operating, and maintaining and lakes, parks, recreation grounds and buildings that may be acquired. Based on this statute, the District has the legal authority to acquire property that can be used for recreation purposes, based on the judgement of the Board.
On October 8, the SEPRD Board met and approved the following motion: The Board voted unanimously to authorize Skyler Archibald to engage the services of a real estate agent and to deliver the offer discussed in Executive Session to the Seaside School District and to report back to the Board. The Board recognizes the need to preserve public land in the public trust and to maintain indoor recreation space in our community and for our youth. This Board motion and vote provide the necessary legal basis for the offer that has been made.
How will you pay for the building?
The District currently has $234,000 in the building additions fund. This amount would be enough to carry the loan for two full years, without any further investment from the operating budget or any revenue. SEPRD has access, through our association with Special Districts Association of Oregon, to funding with low interest rates and a manageable repayment schedule. In other words, we do not need a bond to purchase the building or manage it at this time. In time, the District will develop a master plan for the full usage of the property. This could include developing partners to utilize some of the other spaces, identify a fundraising strategy to improve the building or leave the building as is and utilize it the best way possible.
In addition, the District will be in a financial position of having confirmed knowledge of the repayment schedule and can budget accordingly. We have utilized this financing method in the past and just finished repayment of a similar sized loan payment in 2019. The District and Board will be working with consultants and the input of the community to create a braided revenue strategy that will help offset the loan and reparation costs and options for that revenue include: program fees, grants, leased/portioned space on the property, rehabilitation fund derived from excess moneys borrowed, System Development Charges, expansion of the District, sponsors and individual donations.
What about environmental or structural concerns present in the building?
If the District were to acquire the property, it would only be after successful completion of a lengthy due diligence process to assess the current state of the building. It should be noted that while there may be some environmental related concerns in the building, due to its age, those concerns have been mitigated for decades by the School District and SEPRD will continue to mitigate through appropriate measures. Clearly the building sits in the tsunami inundation zone and that is one of the primary incentives that the School District is vacating. However, many public facilities are in that zone and the majority of Seaside residents live in that area as well.