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School offers Boone Museum 25-year lease
February 17, 2005
by James L. White, Times Staff
The Harrison School district had allowed the Boone County Heritage Museum to use a portion of one building at Central Elementary, which also housed Central's computer lab.
Museum officials had been wondering what would happen when the Harrison School district moved grades 5 and 6 to Harrison Middle School, but the Board of Education voted Tuesday night to offer the Museum a lease for up to 25 years at the rate of $1 a year.
Superintendent Jerry Moody told the board that it was "obviously in our best interest" to maintain the Museum building as long as it was also used as the computer lab.
The district no longer needs the building, but Museum officials would like to stay, Moody said. However, the Historical Society simply doesn't have the money to buy the building outright and the district can't just give it away.
Moody said he'd spoken with lawyers and had a lease drawn up that would offer the Museum a lease for $1 a year for up to 25 years. The Museum would pay utilities, including reimbursing the district for water used since they will be on the same meter, and maintain insurance with the district as the payee in event of disaster. The district would continue to maintain the grounds.
He also said Museum officials are now looking over the agreement.
Board member Bill Boswell asked Moody if the district could simply sell the building at a reasonable price the Museum could afford.
Moody said that by law the building would have to be sold at fair market value since it was technically purchased with tax dollars.
Board member Richard Poe asked Moody about one section of the lease agreement that would allow the district to go ahead and sell the building even while under lease.
Poe said he approved of that section, but asked what would happen if the Museum spent thousands of dollars to renovate. Would the Museum then simply lose all that money?
Moody said that is sometimes the case with a lease agreement, but no one knows what the future actually holds.
The board, with all members but John Sherman present, voted to offer the lease to the Museum.
"It's a great way to save that old building," board member Katie Holt said.
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