Iowa City Community School District purchases Tyler Building on ACT campus

Iowa City Community School District leaders have approved an $8.7 million purchase agreement for the on-campus Tyler building and ACT property.

Iowa City Community School District leaders unanimously approved a deal to purchase the Tyler Building on the ACT campus in Iowa City at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

The space would house district learning staff for their preschool through 12th grade online academy, district professional development, and district technology staff. The district has long-term plans to also include a Career and Technical Education (CTE) center in the building.

The 83,000 square foot building, built in 1979, sits on 7.9 acres of land on the west side of the ACT campus. According to the agreement voted by the ICCSD board on Tuesday, the district will pay $8.75 million for the 40-year-old building.

All six board members present voted in favor of the purchase agreement, with board member JP Claussen not present.

The Iowa City appraiser listed the building’s total value at $5.365 million for 2022, which differs significantly from the school district‘s agreed-upon purchase price of $8.75 million.

The district also signed a pre-closing occupancy agreement that would allow the district to move into the space next month, according to a press release from ACT Inc.

Board member Maya Pilcher Hayek expressed concern that the agreed price was more than $3 million above the assessed value. She also asked if the amount of space was needed.

Superintendent Matt Degner said the school board would make a recommendation for anything he felt was exorbitant or a bad faith expense.

Duane Van Hemert, a former district facilities manager who now works part-time for the district, said in today’s market it would cost nearly $25 million to build and the purchase price was in line with the appraisal. private by the school district.

The borough started looking for a building similar to this one last fall. Board Chair Shawn Eyestone said the district was considering several other buildings that would only partially meet the district’s needs for multi-purpose educational space, but the Tyler Building better meets the district’s needs.

Van Hemert reported to council on Tuesday the condition of the building as well constructed and in good condition.

“There’s nothing about this building that gives me heartburn,” Van Hemert said.

ACT recently invested $7 million in renovations to the building, replacing the roof over the past 5 years, Van Hemert said.

However, Van Hemert said the building needed another passenger elevator and additional minor upgrades to meet the operational needs of the neighborhood. The future cost of the renovations is not known at this time.

The district has the option to withdraw its consent at any time before the closing date in early August.

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