The Belen School District is the new owner of Casey Luna’s cheap dirt.
The Belen School Board approved the purchase agreement with Luna for the former Ford dealership’s 22,686-square-foot building and 5.62 acres of the total 6.87 acres of land.
“We have put $5,000 down as earnest money,” Superintendent Don Duran said at the board’s Tuesday meeting of the $900,000 transaction. “We are just waiting for the environmental report before the purchase is complete.”
“I have had nothing but good response to our purchasing this land and facility,” Board President Julian Luna said.
“We have worked with the school district to give them a fair deal,” Casey Luna said in a phone interview on Friday of the transaction, which was negotiated by Centerfire Property of Los Lunas. “Unfortunately, we had to leave 1.25 acres out of the deal because of monetary restrictions on the part of the district. They do have first refusal on the land and may purchase it when they are able.
“I have no plans at this time for the land not purchased by the school district,” Casey Luna said of the southeast corner of the property. A total of 60,000 square feet of the property are not included in the purchase.
The district will have right-of-way access to the property entrance, which is in the section remaining in Casey Luna’s ownership.
“It is a turn-key operation,” Duran said on Friday. “The building is an excellent area for our maintenance, food service and warehouse departments. And, when we move the transportation department there, the dealership service area will be ideal for our bus maintenance department.”
The purchase will be complete sometime in the next 30 to 90 days, according to Casey Luna. “That’s what the lawyers say, at least.”
In other capital outlay agenda items, the school board tabled approval of the scope and design of the new central office building until a special meeting at 4 p.m. Monday, May 20.
They also tabled discussion regarding accepting land for a new middle school.
In personnel action, the board had the first reading of a new leave-of-absence policy.
“We discovered we had a leave-of-absence procedure in place, but no policy addressed it,” Duran said. “To be in compliance with our State Department of Education audit, we need to establish this policy.”
The policy brings the number of personal days up to three for all employees.
It also established a requirement for a doctor’s note for employees using sick days if the employee is absent on both Friday and Monday of the same weekend, or if they take a sick day the day before or after a holiday, or if they are absent more than 10 days during the contractual year.
The board will read the policy two more times before voting to accept it.
Also in personnel action, contracts were awarded to the districts classified staff.
In other action items, the board approved:
- Awarding the architectural contract for the Belen Middle School remodeling to James Patrick Lynch Architects of Belen. The architectural firm is currently remodeling the middle school gymnasium.
Architect Claudio Vigil had been awarded the middle school contract, but, Duran said, the district had revisited the architectural contracts and decided to give Vigil the new construction at the high school and the district’s master plan contract instead.