South School Development Proposal

December 17, 2015

A Kansas City developer interested in converting Storm Lake’s closed South School to apartments plans to conduct a feasibility study on the building during the next six months.

Wednesday night, the school board gave Superintendent Carl Turner permission to move forward with a proposal from Foutch Brothers… which would give them the option to purchase the building for one dollar. Turner says the building is closed due to the boiler not passing inspection and the roof is leaking. He says something has to happen rather quickly, and selling it for a dollar would save the district 300 to 400-thousand dollars to have it demolished.

Foutch first approached the district three years ago with plans to convert the building to senior or low-income apartments… and again in April presented a plan for market-rate apartments, which do not have income-rate requirements. Turner says there have been a lot of good ideas for South but they were all without funding, and Foutch can bring together funding proposals.

The board also received an offer from the Storm Lake United Methodist Church to purchase some South School property to the west of the area the church previously bought for a parking lot. Turner says they’re offering five-thousand dollars and would leave the area green space. The board tabled that offer pending Foutch’s study. Any sale of the property would require a public hearing process.