Marysville schools selling land to maintain its campuses

The district sold three pieces of land earlier this month and has other properties on the market.

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville School District sold three pieces of land earlier this month and has other properties on the market.

In a community where school enrollment has declined over the past decade, the goal isn’t to use the land sale proceeds to build anew. Rather it is to preserve what is already there through projects such as roof replacements, boilers and beefed-up security.

“Let’s maintain them to a level that’s going to last,” said Mike Sullivan, the district’s executive director of finances and operations. “This is about properly maintaining our schools so they will last. It’s just like you need new tires every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. You need new roofs.”

Separate from the land sales and a four-year capital levy passed last year for technology and building maintenance, the district is considering asking voters in 2020 to support a bond measure for major overhauls on some campuses. In the past, those have included Marysville Pilchuck High School as well as Cascade and Liberty elementary schools, but it will be up to a new advisory committee to begin from scratch for the next proposal.

Earlier this month, the school board approved selling three pieces of property to help pay for maintaining existing buildings. They are:

A 7.2-acre site between the 4200 and 4300 blocks of 71st Avenue NE that was sold for $1.5 million to Seawest Investment Associates LLC. The district at one point thought it might be able to build a small elementary school on the site.

A 2-acre parcel at 8400 67th Ave. NE that is next to Cedarcrest Middle School, but has not been part of the campus. It sold for $100,000 to RESG Homes. “The property doesn’t hold a value to us,” Sullivan said. “It won’t meet our needs.”

A third of an acre at 4124 80th St. near the school district offices. It sold for $230,000.

The district has three other fairly large properties on the market, including 10 acres east of Highway 9 off 84th Street; 19 acres across from Smith Gardens nursery on the north side of 132nd Street and 18 acres west of I-5 off 116th Street on land that once was leased by a horse rescue.

Last year, voters approved a four-year capital levy that will raise $6 million annually for technology and capital needs. Half of that money — $12 million — is earmarked for building maintenance needs.

“We have some serious things we need to take care of,” Sullivan said.

The district isn’t selling all of its dormant properties. Lands that are considered candidates for future school construction are being kept.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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