The Field School of Charlottesville Lease of the Old Crozet School




Public hearing for proposed lease agreement between the County and the Field School of Charlottesville for a portion of the Old Crozet Elementary School




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







May 6, 2009


ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:              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.


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 may be possible to lease to both, maximizing the use of the facility.


After discussions with the Field School, staff drafted the attached lease agreement to lease 11,210 square feet of the building space and the use of the lower athletic field for an annual rent of $42,710.10.  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 the Field School’s original proposal, which was $1.61 plus utility costs.  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 is consistent with existing zoning.


The proposed lease with the OSCA is on the May 6, 2009 consent agenda for the Board’s consideration. Consideration of the Field School lease is not dependent on the OSCA lease.




Approval and implementation of this lease would result in a gross increase in revenue of $42,710.10.  Coupled with the OCSA proposal, the County would realize a 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.




After the public hearing, staff recommends that the Board approve the lease with the Field School of Charlottesville and authorized the County Executive to sign the lease on behalf of the County.




A – Field School Lease Agreement

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