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Medford School District plans to sell three vacant properties

The Medford School District is in the process of liquidating three of its vacant properties that previously housed administration and support services personnel.

In a memorandum released in January, district officials announced their intent to sell three surplus properties — a warehouse at 750 N. Columbus Ave., the former administrative annex at 600 Whitman Place and the former maintenance and network-telecommunication services facility at 2801 Merriman Road.

In fall 2011, district administration and its business and human resources staff were relocated from the administrative annex and superintendent's building at 500 Monroe St. to the second floor of Central Medford High School.

The following spring, NTS and the facilities department moved out of the old Howard Elementary offices on Merriman Road and into Central's annex. The annex also doubles as the district's warehouse and purchasing department.

The district decided to maintain ownership of the former superintendent's building while leasing it to Maslow Project, a local nonprofit that provides support for homeless youths. Facilities manager Mark Button said the building and adjoining parking lot were are in good condition and may be part of future expansion plans.

As mandated by Oregon law, the district first notified public agencies of its intent to sell the three vacant properties.

In October, City Manager Eric Swanson responded to the notice in a letter to Superintendent Phil Long, saying the City of Medford was "interested in pursuing options with the district in possibly obtaining the warehouse facility."

Button said city officials have since toured the grounds and promised to return in the spring to conduct an in-depth assessment of the building.

Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke said today the city is still interested in the property, particularly because of its proximity to the Santo Community Center.

On Jan. 9, the district received a $200,000 offer from Rogue Valley Fellowship for the Whitman property.

RVF elder Larry Anderson said in a letter addressed to Button that the church intended to use the property as its administrative headquarters and as a base for its community outreach programs. The sale is expected to close Friday.

Button said he will select a real estate agent to list the Merriman property on the open market.

So far, no one has expressed an interest in it, he said.

Button said money from the sale of the three properties will be allocated back into the capital fund and could be used for building maintenance or for future projects.

— Teresa Thomas