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By Lonnie Huhman,

lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com

Dexter Community Schools is moving forward on a plan to sell one of its longtime buildings to the Encore Musical Theater Company.

At its July 22 meeting, the DCS Board of Education unanimously voted to authorize the superintendent or CFO to execute and deliver the Agreement for the Sale and Purchase of Real Estate, in this case the Copeland facility, which includes the Dexter Senior Center.

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The school board decision stated, “The granting of the Sale and Purchase of Real Estate is subject to the execution of a lease between The Encore Musical Theater Company and the Dexter Senior Citizens that will survive the sale.”

According to DCS, some of the next steps include: Bond Counsel at Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone will prepare necessary filings to convert the portion of any outstanding bond issues used to improve Copeland to qualified 501c3 bonds; the closing date will be March 31, 2020 (or sooner). The Purchaser will have three days after Closing to transfer the $100,000 deposit to the Escrow Agent and at Closing (March 31, 2020,) Encore takes effective title to Copeland so they “own it” but have a land contract (mortgage) on the property.

If things go as planned, DCS will vacate Copeland’s first floor by March 31, 2020 and the purchaser plans to start physical renovation of Copeland after that.

According to DCS, the purchaser will pay off the land contract by March 31, 2021, as a balloon payment of $970,000. DCS also said, “The Purchaser may secure donations sufficient to satisfy the balloon payment or secure a mortgage to satisfy the balloon payment of the land contract.”

In other DCS news, the school board has put the brakes on its pay-to-participate discussion.

The recommendation for this decision by the school board said, “Given the amount of public interest and confusion on the topic of athletics funding and participation costs, the Finance and Athletics Committees both recommend that the Board act to pause any change to pay-to-participate fees, schedule two public forums for stakeholders, and review various fee structure scenarios.”

DCS Superintendent Chris Timmis said the forums will happen this fall.

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