School property purchases

For the construction of a new Bryant school, Helena Public Schools is set to purchase and demolish homes at 1517, 1511 and 1501 Boulder Ave., pictured from left. The combined purchase prices of the three homes is $785,000. 

Jesse Chaney, jesse.chaney@helenair.com

The final property purchase needed to build a new Bryant Elementary School has been approved.

The Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Friday to approve the purchase of the property, which includes a home at 1517 Boulder Ave. The purchase price is $260,000.

The board approved the purchase of property and homes at 1501 Boulder Ave. for $265,000 and 1511 Boulder Ave. for $260,000 at a meeting last week, but it hadn’t yet reached an agreement with the third owner at that time. The first two properties are set to close in July.

All three homes will be demolished. The residents have 90 to 120 days to vacate the properties. 

As part of a $63 million voter approved bond, the district also plans to demolish and rebuild Jim Darcy and Central elementary schools in time for school in 2019.

For the Jim Darcy project, the district purchased a vacant lot at 7516 Rustic Way for $162,350 and three vacant lots at 7504, 7510 and 7516 Grand Valley Loop for a combined cost of $206,250, with a closing date of June 23.

The cash paid to the property owners was borrowed from the district’s building reserve fund and will be paid back once the bonds are sold.

While Superintendent Jack Copps said the district didn't set aside a certain amount of money to acquire the properties, he said all three purchases were at fair market value. 

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