District defers lease of Nevada City Elementary School after receiving low bid | TheUnion.com

District defers lease of Nevada City Elementary School after receiving low bid

Nevada City School District trustees on Tuesday deferred making a decision on leasing out Nevada City Elementary School after receiving only one bid, which was for less than its stated minimum monthly lease.

They opted to continue negotiations with the sole bidder, Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, and adjourn the board meeting until 5 p.m. today, according to an agenda posted online.

The Art Deco building in the heart of downtown Nevada City has been leased by Yuba River Charter School for the last six years, after the district closed Nevada City Elementary in 2010. The charter school announced in late December it did not want to renew because it was relocating to its new site on Ridge Road in Grass Valley.

Many Nevada City residents went to a January school board meeting to express their support for keeping the site a school, with Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning as their top choice.

The academy submitted the sole bid to lease the school site, but did not meet the district's minimum bid requirement of a monthly lease of $14,575. District Superintendent Trisha Dellis had said in January that was the rate the district had been charging Yuba River Charter School, and they were using that rate at the market rate value of the property — an education code requirement.

The bid from Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning proposed leasing the building for $11,250 a month until 2021, when they would begin paying the requested $14,575 a month. The academy's bid also called for a 99-year lease.

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After discussing the bid in closed session for about an hour, the trustees asked for continued negotiation regarding the price and terms.

Board member Joshua Pack noted that the academy needed an expedited decision, because it has also been negotiating with Nevada Joint Union High School District for a long-term lease of its McCourtney Road property, with a Thursday deadline on that proposal.

On Wednesday, Dellis said the negotiations were ongoing.

According to the agenda posted on the district website, the board has two options: reject all bids for the lease of the Main Street property, or approve the lease agreement between the district and Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.