Former LHISD admin building under contract

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By MIKE EDDLEMAN

The Liberty Hill ISD Board of Trustees approved a bid Monday for the former administration building on State Highway 29 and the district is hoping the third time’s the charm.

The bid is from Youngquist Investments, LTD out of Austin for $725,000. The value according to a recent appraisal done by the school district was $719,000.

Superintendent Dr. Rob Hart said he did not know what the bidder’s intent is for the building.

The sale process has been a challenge because the district is required to sell it through a bid process.

“Not only do we have to sell by bid, but we also can’t sell too far off the appraised value, so we first rolled it out and no one really knew what to bid or how much it was worth,” Hart said. “The bids were all over the place, but nothing nearly acceptable, so we went back and started putting minimum bids on it.”

This is the third time the district has accepted a bid for the property.

“We had two different contracts on it,” Hart said. “Different things happened in the meantime that they had to get out of it. One was going to buy it and renovate it and make a medical clinic out of it and they had a tenant already, then during the feasibility period the tenant withdrew.”

The building had served as the district administration building until it moved to its current home in the renovated campus of the former Intermediate School on Forrest Street downtown in 2015.

“The district converted it (the SH 29 building) into an administration building, but not too long after I got here, we were having to renovate closets to put employees in and things like that,” Hart said. “It just wasn’t designed to be a school administration office and did not have a good fit for it.”

The property is 1.33 acres and the two-story building is 10,100 square feet.

If the sale goes through, the $725,000 to the district goes into the General Fund and will be designated to purchase future property for new schools.

“We know that’s going to be our big ticket item in the next several years is school property,” Hart said.

Concerned parents
Aleta Brochue, who has three children in the school district, addressed the board Monday over concerns with the upcoming bond election, claiming the district misled voters in the last election when it didn’t follow through with making the district’s elementary campuses kindergarten through fifth grade.

“You guys are going to have to address that in the last bond you promised we’d have a K through fifth if the bond passed,” she said. “The very next year, when you built that school, my fifth grade daughter was in the middle school. You guys have a lot of parents who are really angry.”

She went on to say the look of the buildings do not matter, or whether students are in portables, but if the district wants support for the bond it needs to provide more information to residents.

“I won’t be voting for it until I get more data,” she said.

Kelly Magee also spoke to the board, focusing on what she said are needed changes in the dress code for girls.

“Our current dress code restricts most of the clothing worn by a typical girl. You will find that many of the guidelines are subjective based on what a person thinks or they see, and not on definitive measurements. I am pleading with the school board to change the dress code sooner rather than later.”

Magee said not only clothing rules, but hair restrictions and rules on piercings should be considered for change. She has two daughters in the school district.

Members of the Board of Trustees do not respond to speakers who address the board during the public comments period of the meeting.

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