GFPS approves real estate agent for Roosevelt, Campfire sale

The Great Falls Public Schools board approved the selection of Catalyst Commercial during its Sept. 27 meeting to serve as the real estate agent for the sale of Roosevelt Elementary School and the Campfire house.

Catalyst will now develop the timeline for next steps in the sale, according to GFPS.

Over the summer, the board approved the disposal and surplus of the properties because they were “determined to be obsolete, undesirable or unsuitable for the school purposes of the district,” according to the district.

GFPS looking for real estate agent for sale of Roosevelt, Campfire properties

The district also issued a request for qualifications in August for a real estate agent that were due Sept. 13.

Catalyst will be paid from proceeds on the property sale, according to GFPS.

According to state law, funds from the sale of district property must be credited to the debt service fund, building fund,
general fund, or other appropriate fund, at the discretion of the trustees.

GFPS selling Roosevelt Elementary, Campfire house

As part of the $98 million facilities bond that voters approved in 2016, Giant Springs Elementary School was constructed to replace Roosevelt, 2501 2nd Ave. N., and it served as a temporary school during construction. Roosevelt also served as the remote instruction center during COVID-19, which shut down in-person learning for a time and some students opted for remote learning.

“It has been determined that it is no longer suitable for district use,” according to the June staff report from Brian Patrick, GFPS director of business operations.

Patrick said that the school board will determine the appropriate fund after the sale of Roosevelt has been completed.

The Campfire house property was purchased with bond funds with the intent to add more parking by Great Falls High School, but zoning issues and costs to create the parking stopped the project. The district has since worked with the City of Great Falls to use a portion of Kranz Park to create more space for parking near Great Falls High.

Patrick told The Electric that the district had discussions with its bond counsel regarding the sale of the Campfire building since it was purchased with bond funds. The direction from counsel was that since the original intent of that purchase was for parking that it would be in the best interest of the district to use funds from that sale for parking.

City approves parkland swap with Great Falls Public Schools

Proceeds from the sale of the Campfire house will be used toward the new parking lot on school property next to Memorial Stadium, according to Patrick’s staff report.

There was some discussion years ago about letting Alliance for Youth use the Campfire building, but according to Patrick, bond counsel advised against it since it was purchased with bond money specifically for parking.