Price drops by $1M if sale closes in March

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FARMINGTON — San Juan College and Farmington schools each have approved a purchase and sale agreement for the unoccupied Hilcorp building in Farmington.

The Farmington Municipal School District Board of Education voted four in favor and one opposed on Wednesday evening to purchase the building at 3401 E. 30th St.

A day earlier, the college's board of trustees agreed to the acquisition. The deal still needs approval from the New Mexico Higher Education Department.

The district and the college have been working together to obtain the structure and plan to use the space for offices, services and programs.

At the school board meeting, Superintendent Eugene Schmidt commended the college board for its action then thanked Ed DesPlas, the college's executive vice president, for representing both parties in negotiations.

Ted Lasiewicz, the district's chief of operations, told board members the district is working on a joint powers agreement with the college to detail each entity's responsibilities for the building.

He said Farmington schools would occupy the first and fourth floor of the building while the college would be located on the second and third floors. The purchase includes all the furniture in the building.

"Some of our furniture will be moved but a lot of it is there already for us," Lasiewicz said adding the district anticipates some renovation costs.

The value of the building is approximately $30 million but its listed sale price is $7 million, according to The Daily Times archives.

DesPlas said the gross purchase price will be $6.25 million if the deal closes by April 30.

If they can close the purchase by or on March 31, the price decreases to $6 million, he said.

The college would be responsible for 53 percent of the cost and Farmington schools would be responsible for 47 percent, DesPlas said adding the ownership and cost of operation would be split along those percentages.

"We are working very hard to be sure we can close on or before March 31," he said.

DesPlas said the college plans to remodel its portion to accommodate seven classrooms and departments and services that would relocate to the building.

That expense is estimated to cost up to $2 million and it, along with the purchase, will be funded by $5 million in general obligation bonds, he said.

"It's a good space. It's designed for professionals," DesPlas said about the building.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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