Davenport votes to accept bids for former Lincoln Elementary


Davenport’s school board voted Monday night to accept bids to sell the former Lincoln Elementary school.
The school closed its doors four years ago.

Since then, the district has been renting out that space.
But, officials say the district is losing money by keeping the property.
Davenport’s superintendent Art Tate says the current Lincoln Elementary school building is costing the district about $60,000 per year to keep open.

Monday night six of the seven board members voted to start accepting bids for the former school.

“It’s brutal. It’s horrible. It’s insane looking at that budget,” said Ralph Johanson, Davenport school board president.

He says the decision to sell the school is directly related to the school budget.

“It’s a difficult challenge for us to continue to spend that kind of money especially when we don’t have all the money we want to in our budget,” said Johanson.

The school was built more than seven decades ago.
School board members say while there are seven groups using the former school, only half of the facility is being used.

The district says Lincoln needs  about $150,000 in upgrades.
Johanson says that’s money the district doesn’t have.

“It’s just one of those things that doesn’t really make a lot of sense for the district to continue and own something like that just for community purposes when it’s losing money,” said Johanson.

Johanson says the district will have to cut more than 5 million dollars from next year’s budget in order for it be balanced.

“Looking at this and considering long term issues is incredibly difficult and it’s hard to think about what we need to do down the road,” said Johanson.

Local 4 News talked with the owner of Pena’s Davenport Boxing Club.
It’s one of the  groups  currently  renting out the old gym of the elementary school.
He says he is disappointed with Monday night’s decision, but he plans to look for another location before the school is put up for sale.

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