Last month the Seacoast Echo reported the Bay-Waveland School District had purchased the Old Bay Tech building on Second Street in Old Town Bay St Louis to house the district’s administrative offices and alternative school. This purchase would mark the beginning of the final phase of school district’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina and breathe new life in a building that has sat empty since the storm.
In a way that piece also encapsulates the state of the school district in 2012, which has found itself at odds with local good government activists over several issues that I will not go into on this post. That said today the FEMA funded transaction the district executed to purchase the Bay Tech building will be examined in detail because the Seacoast Echo got it wrong, which is strange considering the editor of the paper is married to the school board president. To kick-start things let’s visit with that story I linked above:
The Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District has purchased the old Bay Tech building in Bay St. Louis, hoping to turn it into a new district office and alternative school.
The building and 1.6 acres of land located at 200 N. Second Street were purchased for $580,000. According to county tax records, the previous owner was Magnolia Group LLC of Shorewood, Ill.
Now when I say the Echo got it wrong I do not mean the reporting was lazy, as I think the reporter faithfully reported everything that was said in the meeting. We need to examine another snippet though, before Slabbed tells the in-depth story:
Project Coordinator Brad Barlow said buying the building made sense for the district.
“We’ve explored many routes and found that this was a cost-effective way,” he said.
Although the project has been delayed over other projects, Ladner said, the district wanted to get the schools rebuilt first.
Funding will come from FEMA proceeds and district funds.
I’ll admit I saw this piece last month and came away thinking $580K for a building and 1.6 acres of land in old town was a bargain. That is until I learned that it was sold on June 7, 2012 by the Magnolia Group to a LLC owned by 3 local business people for $325,000, that public records show owned the property around a month before flipping it to the school district for a $255,000 profit. Let’s establish that via the Multiple Listing Service aka the MLS. I have made certain redactions to protect certain individuals that I do not believe were involved in the transaction: Continue reading “Court documents raise questions about Bay-Waveland School District’s purchase of the old Bay Tech Building”