School district proposes sale of property near Hazelwood Elementary

July 3, 2012

By Staff

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NEW — 10:55 a.m., July 3, 2012

The Renton School District will begin the process for a possible sale of two pieces of undeveloped property near Newcastle’s Hazelwood Elementary School and Renton’s Tiffany Park Elementary.

The district has owned the property for 40 years and considered selling the land in 2008 just as the U.S. recession began and the housing market started its rapid decline, according to the district. A decision was made at that time to put off the sale.

Both pieces of property are zoned for singled-family residences.

The 10-acre property at the north end of the district, near Hazelwood Elementary School and Lake Boren, was purchased in 1970.

The 21-acre property near Tiffany Park Elementary School was purchased in 1973 for a possible site to construct a middle school.
Both sites present challenging issues that preclude the district from building a school on either site, including size, location, accessibility and environmental issues, according to the district.

The cost to prepare both of the densely-wooded sites — with its challenging topography — to construct a school would have resulted in an excessive expense request of district taxpayers, according to the district.

Most of the construction work approved by voters over the past 20 years has been to build, rebuild or renovate schools on their current footprint, eliminating the high costs associated with site preparation such as excavation, clearing of trees and roots, rough grading and other tasks to prepare a site for new school construction.

The district’s work now includes having both properties professionally surveyed and appraised among other legal requirements, and working with a broker to evaluate market conditions for a possible sale.

The Renton School Board will schedule a public hearing in the fall before voting on the actual sale of the properties.

Funds generated from the sale of the properties must be placed into the district’s capital projects fund for school construction and renovation.

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