Port Angeles schools OK pact to sell Fairview site

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles School Board has agreed to sell the property that once was the site of Fairview Elementary School to a Sequim man.

The board unanimously approved Thursday night an intent to sell the 9.48 acres at 166 Lake Farm Road to Kurt Jafay of Sequim for $814,000.

Fairview Elementary was closed in 2007 because of declining enrollment.

A public hearing for comment on the proposed sale is set from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, in the Port Angeles High School library, 304 E. Park Ave. A regular board meeting will follow the comment period.

Jafay made the offer April 24 for the property, which includes a building, parking, playfields and a pond.

Jafay has not announced what he intends to do with the property or whether he is making the offer for himself or on behalf of a client buyer.

James Alcaraz of Torres Real Estate in Sequim said that at this point, the intended use of the property would put it back on the county’s tax rolls. Public or nonprofit-owned property is exempt from property taxes.

The sale now will progress into the legal real estate process, which includes a 45-day hold for public property sales and 180 days for the buyer to complete the process of making sure the property has no unexpected problems, such as a failing septic system or zoning problems, said Kelly Pearson, district director of operations and finance.

As long as the process is not derailed by unexpected discoveries during the waiting period, the latest the sale would close would be in December, Pearson said.

Agreeing to sell the school was a bittersweet moment, board members said.

“We can put the money back into the schools,” board Chairman Steve Baxter said.

The School Board decided to put the property on the market in March 3013, at least partially to help fund the planned replacement of aging schools in the district.

A district committee is working on a proposal for a bond issue to place before voters to replace the 60-year-old Port Angeles High.

Board member Sarah Methner said three of her four children began kindergarten at Fairview, so she was sad to let it go.

“I cried,” she said.

The Fairview property was appraised at $904,000 in February 2013. The board placed it on the market the following month.

The appraisal, completed by Rick Wells of Silverdale, noted that the building had been vacant for years.

Reduced or deferred maintenance had resulted in peeling paint, a broken window, moss growth on shingles and vegetation on sidewalks, the driveway and roof surfaces, he said.

Questions about the sale can be directed to Superintendent Jane Pryne, Port Angeles School District, 216 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 03. 2014 6:22PM
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