The Tooele County School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to sell its former district administration office to the Tooele County Housing Authority for $273,000.
The agreed price was the appraised value of the 4,658 square foot building that is located at 66 W. Vine St., Tooele. The building, reportedly built sometime prior to the 1930s, was the school district’s administration building until the office moved in 2005 to its present location at 92 Lodestone Way in the Ninigret Business Park.
The building was leased by the school district to Tooele Applied Technology College. The building has been vacant since June after TATC moved into its new facility at 88 S. Tooele Boulevard in Tooele.
“We’re so excited,” said Executive Director DeAnn Christiansen for the Tooele County Housing Authority. “We’re hoping to close by the end of the month. We have some renovation work that needs to be done to the building first. … Our goal is to be moved in by October. We don’t want to move in the winter.”
The TCHA’s current facility is at 118 E. Vine St. TCHA is a non-profit, political subdivision of state government that receives federal and state funding, as well as miscellaneous grants, to provide affordable housing to low and moderate income residents, according to Christiansen.
The executive director said last fall she applied with the state for a community development block grant with the intent of buying an existing and larger building somewhere in Tooele. She said the capacity of TCHA’s present building has been exceeded by the organization’s seven employees, office and computer equipment.
Christiansen said after looking at several buildings during the winter, she approached then Supt. Terry Linares about the former administration building’s availability after TATC moved out. Attorneys for both the school district and TCHA determined that the housing authority was eligible to buy the building.
In order to do so, the district had to first declare the structure as surplus. It also had to offer to sell it to any local entity before being listed publicly, according to Steve West, the school district’s construction coordinator.
Christiansen said because TCHA’s funding source to buy the building is a CDBG, the housing authority is required to pay the full amount of the building’s appraised value of $273,000.
“Because we have to pay the appraised value, that’s a good deal for the school district,” she said. If TCHA were not the buyer, “the district might not have received fair market value for the building. And this building suits our needs perfectly.”
She added the total CDBG amount is for $318,000. The remaining $45,000 after the purchase will be used to renovate bathrooms, install new floor coverings, resolve remaining American Disability Act barriers, and create a new lobby area.
After TCHA has moved in, Christiansen said annex buildings in the back, which total over 1,500 square feet of space, will be available for rent.
West, who was interviewed at press time today, said he currently doesn’t have a date when the building was first constructed. He noted the original building has had several additions over the years. It is possible the first building was constructed in the 1920s, he said, based on its architecture, building materials and talking with people in the district.
He said he will research old school board records to determine a construction date.
Christiansen indicated that the purchase and move of TCHA to the district’s former administration building is an ideal match. “It’s a phenomenal location for us. It’s centrally located.”