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Published: Wednesday, 4/20/2011

Building owned by Bedford Schools may be sold soon


TEMPERANCE -- Bedford Public Schools is close to reaching a deal to sell a district-owned building next to its administration building on West Sterns Road, school officials said.

The Board of Education last week reviewed a potential contract for a lease-purchase agreement for the building that houses the Bedford Education Child Care Center during a special meeting, Superintendent Ted Magrum said.

However, the offer from the party was tabled after some board members had concerns with the deal. The matter likely will be taken up during a special session by the board Thursday before its committee-of-the-whole meeting, Mr. Magrum said.

"They had some concerns. We have taken care of those concerns," he said.

The board, acting on a recommendation from the administration, approved on March 3 to close the care center at the end of the school year in June and put the property up for sale. The school district had been losing money on the care center for several years.

Josh Dyer, chief financial officer, said the center has lost $60,000 over the last four years. Projections indicate it stands to lose $15,000 this year, despite efforts to cut costs in the program and the hourly pay received by its employees.

The licensed child care center, which opened 35 years ago, is available for children age 18 months to 4 years and is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. It employs 11 people who care for as many as 29 children. The center also houses a latchkey kindergarten program.

School officials received interest in the building from two parties. The district is not releasing the name of the potential buyers.

Mr. Magrum said the proposed agreement calls for the buyer to lease the building for five years when it then would buy the property.

The special meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the high school media center.

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