One Oswego Board of Education member wants the district to take ownership of a concession stand building that’s been on district property for many years.
The building belongs to the Buc Boosters booster club.
Board member Dave White has been urging the board to force the district to make the club an offer to buy the building. “Make them a fair offer and don’t deny them the use of it,” he said.
His reasoning? Because the building is on district property, it’s the district’s responsibility. The board had just heard a playground consultant say the same thing about plans by a parent group to raise money and build a new playground at Leighton Elementary, which they would turn over to the district when construction was finished.
Superintendent Bill Crist said that the district is talking with the Buc Boosters about an agreement, but the agreement would allow the booster club to maintain ownership of the building. “We have 30 years of history here,” he said.
“Is there anything illegal or improper” about allowing a group to own and control a building on district property, asked district lawyer Michael Stanley. “No. Is it unusual? I think it’s unusual. A proper agreement could protect both sides.”
The booster club carries insurance for the building. White said if there was ever a problem, the district would likely be sued because it has the deeper pockets.
“If we owned the building, it would probably be condemned,” said board member John Dunsmoor, because state standards for school district-owned buildings are very high. “Probably cost us 200 grand to upgrade the facilities.”
“How do we know the state won’t make us do that anyway,” White shot back.
The board took no action on White’s request.