The Boulder Valley School District is backing away from a plan to sell the University Hill Elementary building to CU, Superintendent Bruce Messinger said at Tuesday's school board meeting.
The administrative recommendation not to move forward came after the board discussed a feasibility study on the plan Tuesday in a closed-door session to allow for confidential real estate discussions.
The district-commissioned study, by architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht, is expected to be made public on Wednesday. But district officials said the study showed the proposal's costs were prohibitive.
If the sale had gone through, the district had planned to use the proceeds to build a new K-8 building for University Hill students on the nearby New Vista High campus.
A new, more modern high school building for New Vista also was part of the plan. The district was considering adding an early childhood building as well. CU officials have not said what they had envisioned for the University Hill site.
Don Orr, Boulder Valley's assistant superintendent of operations, said the feasibility study estimated costs of $55 million to $75 million, with the high end including the early childhood building.
"The cost far exceeds the value of both properties," he said.
Both New Vista and Uni Hill were slated for improvements through the $576.5 million capital construction bond issue approved by voters in 2014, but those plans have been on hold during the district's discussions with CU. Those discussions were first publicly announced about a year ago.
Messinger said Tuesday that the district will continue to look for the estimated $10 million needed to build an addition to University Hill and complete other needed improvements not included in the bond issue work.
Uni Hill no longer would add middle school grades, he added.
University Hill Elementary, at 956 16th St., was built in 1905 and is one of the district's oldest buildings. It was named a local landmark in 1998, according to the Boulder History Museum.
The school also includes a second, smaller building built in 1949 that houses preschool and kindergarten students. The goal with the addition is to move the preschool and kindergarten students to the main building, district officials said.
Messinger said the district also plans to continue discussing potential partnerships between CU and New Vista, given that New Vista has a large site and the building "needs serious attention for improvement."
New Vista, housed in the former Baseline Middle School building at 700 20th St., was built in the 1950s.
Though the district was waiting for the results of the feasibility study before soliciting community feedback, the proposal had drawn criticism from both parents and community members.
Amy Bounds: 303-473-1341, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/boundsa
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