District 201 school board OKs $474,000 to purchase building

News-DemocratJune 17, 2013 

Belleville School District 201 school board on Monday approved spending $474,000 to purchase a building to house the district's administrative offices.

The district wants the former headquarters of Dickerson Petroleum Inc., at 1920 N. Illinois St. in Belleville.

"It's an excellent location that will be convenient for our community," Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer said.

For the last 10 years, District 201 has been leasing space for its administrative offices at Lindenwood University Belleville. In 2003, Lindenwood took over the former Belleville West High School, paying $1 in a three-way deal to buy it from District 201 through the city of Belleville.

By purchasing a building rather than leasing space, Mentzer estimated the district will save $33,500 annually.

"It's a great opportunity for us," Superintendent Jeff Dosier said following the district school board meeting. "We hope to have a contract relatively soon."

Mentzer said attorneys are still hammering out the final details of the contract. However, he said the district is getting the building for a fair price that's approximately $15,000 under the appraised value. Mentzer didn't have the exact appraised value Monday night.

Dosier said the district hopes to move into the building later this summer. Some minor modifications will be needed to the 6,500-square-foot masonry building, according to Mentzer. He estimated building updates will cost the district less than $75,000.

Mentzer said the district will work quickly to exit the space at Lindenwood prior to the current lease ending on Sept. 1.

In other news, the school board approved the course/activity fees and the breakfast and lunch prices for the 2013-14 school year. The district didn't propose any changes to the current course/activity fees, but the breakfast and lunch prices increased by a nickel.

The cost for student breakfast will be $1.30 and the cost for student lunch will be $2.35. Mentzer said the district's meal prices are still less than other high schools in the area.

In addition, the board approved four new contracts to run from July 1 to June 30, 2014, for its primary lines of insurance. Selective Insurance will provide the district's property/casualty insurance; Illinois Public Risk Fund was selected for the district's workers compensation insurance; Liberty Mutual will provide the district's treasurer's bond insurance; and Gerber Life was chosen for the district's student accident insurance.

In all, Mentzer said the district will save just over $116,000 annually on its insurance premiums.

In other business, the board approved the following:

* Rice, Sullivan and Co. as the district's auditor for the 2012-2013 school year at a cost not to exceed $25,470.

* Bob Dahm to continue as the director of the district's Alternative Day School Program.

* Hiring Katie Munden as a full-time teacher and Jamie Long as a part-time teacher.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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