Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School District Weighs Land Buy; Deal Would Allow Office Expansion

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School District Weighs Land Buy; Deal Would Allow Office Expansion

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

An acre of land and a vacant concrete block building next to railroad tracks in Green Cove Springs could be purchased for $225,000 to facilitate expansion plans for the Clay County School District's central administrative office complex.

Officials say the property, which served as a Green Cove Springs fire station until it was closed several years ago, could provide additional parking and office space for administrative and clerical personnel in overcrowded offices nearby.

"We have a definite need today for additional parking space and we have a long-range plan for expansion of our information services building," said Michael Elliott, assistant superintendent of facilities

At a meeting Oct. 16, the School Board approved a recommendation from Superintendent David Owens to accept a survey, an appraisal and a preliminary environmental site study for the project. The appraisal places a value of $225,000 on the property.

Board members also authorized Owens to advertise the board's intent to buy the property and proceed with plans to negotiate a contract with Green Cove Springs.

Despite the property's relatively small size, location near railroad tracks and potential environmental problems, Elliott said he wasn't particularly surprised by the $225,000 appraisal, which was prepared at the request of the school district by David Michael Keating, a state certified real estate appraiser.

"He appraised it at the highest and best use," Elliott said. "He identified it as having commercial potential, which affected the value."

The parcel, which also contains a 4,000-volt transformer substation, is on Roderico Avenue between Center and Walnut streets. It is on the east side of the CSX rail line and adjacent to the school district headquarters building. Across the street is a cluster of school district administrative office buildings and a school bus maintenance facility.

Except for the electric substation and storage of firefighting equipment in the 2,300-square-foot building, the property no longer serves any public purpose, and city officials have indicated a desire to sell it. …

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