Wildwood Elementary will again be used as a school when the Ottumwa Christian School starts their 2016-17 school year. The school plans to relocate to the former Wildwood Elementary building after their school was recently damaged by fire.
The Ottumwa Board of Education approved a lease and set a hearing for the sale of Wildwood Elementary School during Monday’s board meeting. The public hearing has been set for September 12 at 6 p.m. at Evans Middle School. Key terms of the lease to the Christian school as outlined by the school’s attorney, John Webber, include: use of the lot up to approximately 20 feet behind the school building (not to include the parking lot); lease is effective August 16 through December 31, 2016; and the lease amount is $1.
There is a provision to extend the lease as needed while the schools complete the legal steps to purchase the property. The Christian School is accepting the building “as is,” will pay all utilities, and must carry adequate insurance.
“The Christian School will be able to get in at the start of the school year,” said Board of Education president David Weilbrenner. “Their goal is to start on time.”
“The District is excited to have the opportunity to lease and potentially sell the Wildwood property,” said Nicole Kooiker, Ottumwa superintendent. “We believe this potential agreement will have a positive impact on the neighborhood and community. It will keep a school building in the neighborhood, prevent the use of tax dollars to take down a building, and the softball field will function as is, including the parking lot and driveway.”
Wildwood Elementary School was closed in 2014 following the completion of Liberty Elementary School. The building has been used for storage since.
Photo courtesy Google Street View.