The Old Crozet School Arts Lease of the Old Crozet Elementary School




Authorize a public hearing for the proposed lease agreement between the County and the Old Crozet School Arts for a portion of the Old Crozet Elementary School




Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Herrick, Shadman, Freitas, Shepherd, and Ms. Ragsdale






May 6, 2009


ACTION:                INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:   X          INFORMATION:   











The Old Crozet Elementary School was built in 1924 and was used as a public school until 1990.  From 1991 through 2007 the Charlottesville Waldorf School leased the facility.  The Old Crozet Elementary School has been vacant since September 2007 when the Charlottesville Waldorf School lease expired.  A reuse study was conducted and the final report was presented to the Board on September 3, 2008.  The Board directed staff to continue to explore long term uses, as well as interim uses of the property, until a long term use of the building is determined.  A public hearing is scheduled on May 6, 2009 to consider leasing a portion of the building and property to the Field School of Charlottesville.


Virginia Code § 15.2-1800 requires that the Board advertise and hold a public hearing prior to leasing County-owned property.




Goal 4:  Effectively Manage the County’s Growth and Development.

Master Planning Directional Statement:  “Adapts and reuses sites rather than abandoning them.”




In pursuing the Board’s request to explore an interim use of the Old Crozet Elementary School by the private sector, staff solicited and received five proposals.  Staff evaluated those proposals based on the following criteria:


•  use in relation to proximity to elementary school and residential area

•  R-2 zoning compatibility

•  proposed space needs (square footage)

•  compatibility with desires of community per reuse study

•  maintenance responsibilities

•  utility costs

•  sub-leasing proposed

•  use of grounds

•  proposed term of lease

•  proposed rental fee

•  compatibility with Crozet Master Plan

•  facility upgrade needed/required

•  full time vs. part time use

•  timeliness to occupy building


Based on these criteria, two proposals were deemed potentially suitable and advantageous to the County’s goals:  the Field School of Charlottesville and the Old Crozet School Arts (OCSA).  Because neither entity proposes to use the entire facility, it is possible to lease to both, maximizing the use of the facility.


After discussion with OCSA, staff drafted the attached lease agreement to lease 3,955 square feet of the building for an annual rent of $15,068.55.  That figure is based on an annual square footage rental rate of $2.79 plus a utility rate share of $1.02 per square foot.  This rate is higher than what was submitted in OCSA’s original proposal, which was free use of the facility and payment for utilities.  This negotiated rental rate is equivalent to the prior Charlottesville Waldorf School’s lease rate increased by the rental adjustment formula in that lease.  Staff decided to use this methodology to determine the rental rate for several reasons:


•  consistency with previous leasing practice for this facility

•  the lack of features associated with a modern school building (e.g., central air conditioning, fire suppression system)

   that would command a higher rate

•  the lack of comparable facilities



Highlights of the lease provisions are:


•  one year term with option to renew

•  landlord to provide water, sewer, electricity, and heating services

•  tenant to provide telephone, janitorial, garbage disposal, snow removal and all other services

•  tenant to provide routine maintenance and repairs, not to exceed $2,500.00 in any one year

•  tenant may, with County permission, and at the expense of the tenant, make minor alterations and aesthetic

   improvements to the facility

•  tenant may deduct from the rent during the first term of the lease certain pre-approved costs incurred in making

   alterations, additions, and improvements


The intended use of the facility will require an amendment to the existing special use permit which currently prohibits students from driving themselves to the school.  The proposed amendment goes before the Planning Commission on May 5, 2009.  Approval of the lease would be contingent upon obtaining the amendment to the special use permit.


Consideration of the OCSA lease is not dependent on the proposed Field School of Charlottesville lease.




Approval and implementation of this lease would result in a gross increase in revenue of $15,068.55.  Coupled with the Field School of Charlottesville proposal, the County would realize gross increase in revenue of $57,778.65.  The County currently spends approximately $29,214.25 annually from the Department of General Services operating budget for routine maintenance and utilities.




Staff recommends that the Board authorize a public hearing on June 3, 2009 to receive public comment on the proposed lease.




A – Old Crozet School Arts Lease Agreement

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