Oswego Opportunity School

Former Traughber Jr. High and Oswego School District 308 Opportunity School at 61 Franklin St. (Google image.) 

The Oswego School District Board of Education met last night where a list of previous cuts and revenue increase options were brought to the board. In action however, the school board made a decision on a former school building sale.

The sale of the old Traughber Junior High School on Franklin Street was agreed to by the Oswego 308 Board of Education in a 4-2 decision with board members Jared Ploger and Brent Lightfoot voting no.

The Resurrection Church of the Fox Valley was announced as the buyer for the building and the 6.24 acres of vacant land for $2.85 million. The church is located on Fox Valley Center Drive, west of the mall.

Oswego 308 Board of Ed Attorney Stuart Whitt told the board about Resurrection Church’s intent.

Whitt continued about a change forthcoming.

There are three contingencies on the deal for the church as Whitt explained.

While Ploger was concerned about continuing the Oswego Senior Center, Whitt had this response.

Oswego 308 Board Member Toni Morgan had this to say about the building’s future.

Ploger also questioned about receiving the sale information and voting in the same meeting. Whitt and a fellow attorney recommended the board act.

The SD308 Board of Education repeated that the $2.85 million will be a one-time cash boost to a district struggling to balance its budget. The school district has made several million dollars of cuts in four years, and will hold an April 2nd 30 cent tax increase referendum.

If the closing occurs before June 30th, the new revenue will be applied to the 2019-20 school year. That closing date depends on any engineering redesign of the property which would require Oswego Village Board approval for a special use permit. Whitt said if engineering is needed, that closing date will be two-three months longer, monies to be deposited for the 2020-2021 school term.

Once sold, 308 officials say the district will save $220,000 annually in building maintenance costs.

Oswego 308 Chief Financial Officer Christi Tyler said the church currently would have more space than it needs with the 308 building and may lease out the upper floors.

The school district and the senior center also have changed from a yearly to a $1,542 monthly lease.

A real estate firm hired by the school district had 120 days to sell the building, but an offer on February 11th made that only 40 days. The total was $100,000 more than a previous 2018 offer by a different buyer that failed to land a financial housing tax credits. However, the realtor will receive five percent commission of the $2.85 million.

Another interested party had offered a lower price but did not respond back, attorney Whitt said.

The 71-year old building, once Oswego High School (1948-1964), was last used as a junior high school in 2008.