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Developer to speak at school board meeting

| March 16, 2007 12:00 AM

A representative from a Kalispell firm will speak about his intentions for the old Libby High School during the Wednesday, March 21, school board meeting.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be held in the administration building next to the Memorial Center and is open to the public.

Bryan Scott, investment executive with Flathead Financial Group, told the board in January his firm was interested in buying and renovating the vacant 90-year-old downtown building primarily for offices. Work would begin this spring.

Flathead Financial Group expressed an interest in the building more than a year ago. That interest resurfaced after Spokane developer ConoverBond in early January decided it no longer wanted to buy the Mineral Avenue building.

A Missoula company that appraises historic buildings had determined the 1.7 acres occupied by the school is worth $240,000. Demolition costs for the building are estimated at $120,000, resulting in an "as-is" value of $120,000 for the building and the lot. ConoverBond decided it would not be worth doing a $2.5 million to $3 million renovation.

Scott told the board in January he would put together a design team that includes a local architect, general contractor and engineer to see if it's feasible.

Flathead Financial Group is involved with the renovation of the former Kalispell General Hospital. For the last 30 years the four-story building has served as the Flathead County Courthouse annex.

The Kalispell project is committed to maintaining the historical features of this building, but also historical aspects of the neighborhood. The two floors will be high-end condominiums, the first floor will have offices and the lower level will have space for artists and coffee shop.

DEV Properties, which is involved with the Kalispell project and has done similar projects in Washington and Oregon, will likely be involved with the Libby project, Scott said.