Redevelopment of the boarded-up Calkins Building in downtown Cortez has been delayed.
Montezuma-Cortez Re-1 school district officials, who own the 1909 former schoolhouse, voted unanimously last week to amend the proposed purchase agreement. The Missouri-based Calkins Redevelopment Corp. offered to buy the dilapidated three-story structure for $275,000 in January.
According to Re-1 Superintendent Alex Carter, developers sought an extension after city officials backed out of a tentative agreement to purchase the building. Municipal officials considered remodeling the building for a new City Hall, Carter said.
“The Calkins redevelopment group had based their entire financial proposal on the fact that the first user would be city government,” Carter told the school board on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Carter explained that developers had since switched their development plans and needed additional time to locate a second user. Without discussion, Re-1 board members voted unanimously to extend the agreement to Nov. 23, 2016.
“If we get another offer, we have the right to end this agreement,” Carter said.
Over the past few weeks, multiple attempts to obtain comment from principal developer Becky Barber were unsuccessful.
The former 19,500-square-foot schoolhouse and surrounding 6.65-acre property, valued at $154,280, are included in the proposed sale.
Re-1 officials have listed the sale as a revenue item in its 2015-16 budget.
Named in honor of Dr. Royal W. Calkins, a local physician, the building served as the Cortez schoolhouse until 1947. Junior-high students attended the school through the mid-1960s.
The building underwent some renovation, including the removal of asbestos in 2012. But efforts to completely remodel the structure for school administrative purposes were later shelved because of a lack of funding.