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Everett School Board authorizes purchase and sale agreement for Colby property

Funding from the Colby property sale will go in to the district’s capital fund. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.
Funding from the Colby property sale will go in to the district’s capital fund. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.

By Mary Waggoner, Everett Public Schools Director of Communications.

As planned, the $3.325 million received for the Colby property will help replenish the Everett School District’s capital fund.

At a special board meeting on Thursday, July 23, 2015, the Everett Public Schools Board of Directors authorized district staff to proceed with a purchase and sale agreement for property at 4739 Colby Avenue in Everett with the YMCA of Snohomish County.

The board’s decision is based upon a $3,325,000 offer and all other conditions set for sale of public school property in state law (Chapter 28A.335 of the Revised Code of Washington).

In December 2014 the board listed the former Educational Service Center property on Colby for sale. When the district opened the Community Resource Center in November that year, the aging Colby and Longfellow Building properties were no longer needed as support service centers. Both properties have long been considered among those the district might sell or lease to help replace capital funds used to build the Community Resource Center (CRC) on Broadway.

In the ensuing eight months following the sale announcement, six entities, including the YMCA of Snohomish County, expressed interest in the property.

“Once the board authorized the Colby property for sale, we sought interested parties with enough capital and qualifications to buy the building and land at or above fair market value,” explained Executive Director of Facilities and Operations Mike Gunn.

“Of the six submitted, the YMCA proposal was considered best. The organization has indicated a desire to build a new Everett YMCA facility on the Colby property.”

“The sale should close no later than early December this year.”

Funding from the sale will go in to the district’s capital fund. As Gunn explained, “Capital funds are being depleted by the double failure of the capital bond packages put before voters in February and April of 2014.”

Gunn also emphasized that selling the property will eliminate approximately $30,000 per year the district is now spending to maintain the site – that is to stave off freezing during the winter and maintain security. “The building is empty,” he explained.

“We moved usable filing systems, furniture and storage infrastructure to schools and into the CRC. What is left is the building shell, the portables once used as offices and an aging boiler that has stopped working.”

Timeline and information about land and facilities at 4730 Colby Avenue

  • The district acquired the land in two agreements in 1931 and 1946.
  • The Educational Service Center was built on the land in 1964. This was one year after John F. Kennedy was shot and the same year that President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison in 1964; Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston, and the Ford Motor Company rolled out the first Mustang in 1964. Also that year, southern Alaska was rocked by a 9.2 earthquake, which was felt in parts of Washington State. The United States was engaged in the Vietnam War.
  • The Colby Avenue Educational Service Center was designed as an office and was always used as an office. Its design and look led some to assume it had once been a school. When it opened as an office in 1964, administrative staff moved from their previous location at the old Jefferson Elementary School at Pacific and Hoyt, which is now the site of the U.S. Post Office.
  • The building encompasses 13,500 square feet.
  • Portables added over the years added 2,700 square feet of office space.
  • The lot is 8.04 acres.
  • The zoning is R-1 single family residential. Used as an office, it is considered a “legal, non-confirming use.”