Frontier For Sale

Frontier Elementary School

Photo by Andy Towle. |

Frontier Elementary School


In a unanimous vote, the Payson School Board voted to put the former Frontier School site on the market for the bargain price of $1.25 million at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 11.

At the same time, the board voted to sell the former Payson Center for Success building for $130,000.

“The board hopes that now people know what we want it will be easier to give an offer,” said Barbara Underwood, president of the board.

During numerous public meetings the board held to solicit ideas on what to do with the property, applicants repeatedly said they had no idea what the board wanted.

Now they know.


Frontier Elementary School building

Superintendent Ron Hitchcock said he does not wish to squander scant district resources on being a landlord.

“Regardless of all the offers, we would have still been liable,” he said.

Underwood said that Hitchcock had hosted the public input meetings to give the board a chance to see what was possible.

Once they understood the outstanding responsibilities, continuing cost in time and money to the district of functioning as a landlord, in addition to supporting another entity with public funds, they agreed selling was the best answer.

“We feel as a good steward of the taxpayer’s dollar, you can’t subsidize another entity,” said Underwood.

*For more details, please see Friday’s Roundup.


H. Wm. Rhea III 3 years, 11 months ago

My only question about this is: Are they going to come back in the next ten years or more to ask for a levy to buy land and build a new school? If so, then this is a bad idea.

With a 4 year university coming at some point, our school system is going to start growing again. Would it not be wise to keep this school and maybe thin out class sizes until then?


roysandoval 3 years, 11 months ago

My concern would that the original bond to fund FES, the Dome at the high school and an addition to the middle school was 9.9 million dollars. I believe that FES was about half of that. After it was built, they had to upgrade the electric panel. They also upgraded the kitchen. Then they put in in the field and well for irrigation. Later, they put classrooms in the P.E. dome. Finally, the year before they closed it, they took money from the bond that funded the new JRE and the Middle school renovation and added to the parking lot. When you add all this together it's around 5.5 million. Now after 17 years (it opened in 1996) it is for sale for 1.25 million. I think that's about 23% of the cost. It's a bargain for sure. However, only in education with bond tax money can you afford to build something for 5.5 million, maintain it for 17 years and sell it for 23% of the cost. I would only add that price tag in JRE was about 20 million. It will hold about 500 or so. I believe FES had around a 400 student capacity. In the event a new elementary school is needed in 5 or 6 years, the price tag will most likely be around 25 million for a 400 student elementary school.


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