Special ed coop gets chance to own office building

Staff reporter

Marion County Special Education Cooperative is considering an unexpected "gift" from USD 408 — a building.

At Monday's cooperative board meeting, board members expressed interest in owning the administration building that houses the cooperative's offices.

Cooperative board president Debbie Geis, who represents USD 410, asked if the other boards were in support of the acquisition. The other board members appeared to be in agreement that it was worth pursuing, with a more firm answer to be anticipated at the next cooperative board meeting.

USD 408 representative Lyle Leppke said an agreement could be obtained from USD 408 that would include some kind of language that would allow the school district the first option to buy the property if the special education cooperative should ever want to sell.

When the cooperative makes a decision, then rent no longer will be paid to USD 408 and the cooperative will assume maintenance responsibilities.

USD 408 Superintendent Lee Leiker was contacted after Monday night's meeting and said the reason the school board was willing to give the building to the cooperative was to help the cooperative.

The school district also is continuing the process of giving the other two special education buildings to the City of Florence. Those buildings are a former school building and the gymnasium.

Geis asked the board members to make a decision before July.