School board discusses Trinity Place partnership

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By Kirsten Laskey

The Los Alamos Public Schools board was taken through the steps of the Trinity Place partnership between the school district and the Los Alamos County during its regular board meeting Tuesday night.


To help the board visualize the process, Superintendent Mary McLeod and board member Joan Ahlers presented a slide show.


Ahlers emphasized all the information is subject to change.


“We’re presenting what the documents reflect presently,” she said. “We are still working diligently with the county.”


The district,  Ahlers said, owns a parcel of land identified as A-8-A, located on the canyon, little section touching DP Road, while the county owns a parcel of land identified as L-1, which is 7.3 acres located around the intersection of Trinity and Knecht streets where the county buildings are located.


“We are going to convey A-8-A to the county … the county will deed to us a parcel of L-1,” Ahlers said.     


“We’re going to be swapping value for value,” she added.


During this period, the county will pay the district $428,053 as annual rent under the Master Ground Lease from funds the county is receiving from Boyer, the developer of the Trinity project.


Funds are placed into a depository. The depository forwards to the district rent owed under the Master Ground Lease, minus the rent owed to the county under the ABF lease.


The depository sends to the county the balance of moneys it receives from Boyer.


The next step is the Master Grand Lease, this phase, according to the slide show, will begin when the anchor store opens or at the end of the development period, which is 24 months, whichever the first is to happen.


During this term, the county will pay the district $856,105.69 in annual rent this is compounded annually and increase applied every five years.


Additionally, the district will pay the county $465,711 in annual rent. This is also compounded annually and increase applied every five years.


The district will also execute a Master Ground Lease for a parcel of land called S-1, which is approximately 12.8 acres located off Trinity where the district administrative buildings are located, and runs near 8th Street.


In a joint action, the county and the district will execute the Airport Basins Facilities lease.


McLeod noted that none of the transactions will become effective until the State Board of Finance has approved all documents.


 The next phase is the initial term, during which the district will deposit $1.5 million for its portion of the demolition costs for the buildings located in S-1.


John Wolfe, director of business services, explained the district will pay of its share of the demolition costs through money accumulated in CDs.


Staff will then vacate the buildings, if the county has entered into a development sublease. However, two administrative buildings will not be vacated until the development sublease is executed.


The district will also then take possession of leased facilities at Airport Basin and pay the county $1 in annual rent.


Likewise, the county will pay the district $1 in annual rent.


The next period, the Development Period, will allow the district to take possession of the lease premises of the Airport Basin Facility and will pay the County $439,340 in annual rent.


“During this period of time, after we take possession of the Airport Basin facilities, our rent does increase,” Ahlers said.


Additionally, upon the transfer of another parcel of land, identified as A-B-B off DP Road from the Department of Energy, the district will convey the land to the county through a quitclaim deed.


“One of the things that is most important,” McLeod said, “Is the only place the board has revenue coming in (that is not dictated by the state) is money from our leased facilities.”


“This is the place where the board makes decisions that are best for the district,” she added. “We’re going to be getting some nice income.”


Ahlers added having this opportunity is really enormous, not only for the district staff but also for students.


Nothing has been voted on and the board will be looking at this project again during its upcoming January work session, which will be held in two weeks.


In other discussions related to sources of revenue, the board discussed the bond election.


McLeod said the campaign to pass the bond is “down to the wire.”


She said an ad will be appearing in today’s Monitor about the bond and Jan. 20-21 a group from the bond committee will be calling Los Alamos Public School parents to remind them to turn in their ballots.