The Rogue River School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to transfer the deed for the former Evans Valley Elementary School site to a nonprofit group supporting homeschool students.
The board had been in talks with the Evans Valley Community Association for more than a year about the future of the school site, since it was closed in 2011 and students were transferred to nearby Rogue River Elementary School.
Since the school's closure, a group of homeschool students who didn't want to attend Rogue River Elementary began studying together, and several families formed the Evans Valley Community Association.
Parents organize guest speakers to teach elective courses to students, with most getting their curriculum from Logos Public Charter School in Medford and Rivers Edge Academy Charter School in Rogue River.
The group spent the last year in negotiations with the district, considering leasing the property to house the homeschool students or having a land swap deal to acquire the building.
The 28-acre property and school site at 8205 East Evans Creek Road in Rogue River was appraised by the district earlier this year, but when it was valued at just $250,000, the district didn't consider putting it on the market.
The School Board on Tuesday transferred the property deed for the former elementary school under an Oregon law on relinquishing property no longer needed for public use.
"This provides for the site to be maintained and made available for public use in the future," said Rogue River Superintendent Paul Young in a statement announcing the decision.
The group will rename the former elementary school Evans Valley Education and Community Center, and will allow the community to use the space in addition to providing a place for homeschool students to meet, according to postings on the group's Facebook page.
As part of the deed transfer, the community group must use the property for a public purpose and keep the property in good condition.
The group also must agree to work with the Rogue River School District, allowing it access to the property for some school events.
"This action makes it possible for the property to continue as an asset to the community and school district," said Young.
Other stipulations of the deed transfer prohibit the community group from selling alcohol or tobacco on the campus.
If any of the terms of the deed transfer are violated, the deed will revert to the district.
Reach reporter Teresa Ristow at 541-776-4459 or firstname.lastname@example.org