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Trustees approve appraisal for old school

| March 23, 2006 11:00 PM

BY GWEN ALBERS Western News Reporter

Libby Public School Board voted unanimously to allow a Spokane developer to get an appraisal for setting the sale price on the old high school.

The board also during its Tuesday meeting agreed to pay for that appraisal should the district decide not to sell the vacant building to ConoverBond Development.

"I don't see a huge problem with this if we do business with these folks," said Teri Kelly, chairman for the school board. "I would bet that's almost a standard with their contracts. They'll use someone who is reputable so I think it will be a fair and true appraisal."

School director Jerry Frament estimated the appraisal would cost the developer $3,000 to $5,000.

ConoverBond hopes to buy and remodel the 90-year-old brick building at Mineral Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard for professional and government offices. The developer focuses on urban redevelopment, including renovations of historic buildings and new construction projects for technology, health care, hospitality and retail. Each property is built on the same foundation.

ConoverBond had proposed making a 10 percent down payment followed by monthly payments to the district with interest. The district would get the property back if the project fell through.

The sales price would be based on an appraisal to be commissioned by the company.

"What you are doing is making a commitment to appraise, which means the building will be sold," Superintendent Kirby Maki told the board. If we accept the appraisal, that's what the sale price will be. "If we don't agree with it, we can look for a new appraisal and pay for it ourselves."

The district had said it wanted $350,000 for the building. Empty since 2000, the building was last occupied by Lincoln County Campus of Flathead Valley Community College.

Maki assumes the appraisal would be done within a month.