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D-26 staying with current Maplewood course

CARY – District 26 has decided to keep on course and continue marketing the vacant Maplewood School as one property and revisit the issue in about six months.

The district, including its architect Greg Stahler, completed a study recently of possible sites to which to relocate the district’s transportation department if it were able to sell Maplewood School, where busing operations now are located.

The district is trying to sell the vacant school, which is one of three schools closed since 2004 because of declining enrollment and budget cuts.

If the property were sold as a whole, the district would have to move the operations to another location, which could cost up to $2.9 million, according to district estimates.

Options included moving the transportation department to another district property, renting another property, adding onto the village’s public works garage, or reparceling the Maplewood property to keep transportation there and sell the rest.

District officials recommended keeping transportation where it’s located, and reparceling the site to separate the school portion and the transportation department.

“After doing our extensive review, that seems to be the most cost beneficial for the district as well as it provides the most functionality for transportation,” Director of Finance and Operations T. Ferrier said at last week’s Finance Committee meeting.

Board member Jason Larry said the district shouldn’t make any official moves until there is a developer driving the decision.

“Technically there’s nothing driving it,” Larry said. “But rather use these options for the ... future and let the potential interest drive one of these decisions.”

Reparceling the property now might be premature, Larry said. A developer might want certain lot lines at certain locations.

The district wanted to reparcel to take care of that expense before a buyer came in, and to have separate utilities set up between the transportation department portion and the school portion.

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