Administration recommends approval of the proposed resolution of support for Beacon College to acquire the Lee School Property and move its current operation to this historic location.
Lee School is located on Lee Street, and is bounded on the north by West Line Street; the south by Herndon, and on the west by Perkins Street. The site is approximately 5.13 acres.
Lee School has sat empty and unused for several years. It is a historic structure and local landmark where many current residents of Leesburg and Lake County were educated. Proper reuse and historic renovation of the facilities would allow the site to once again be a contributing asset in the community and Lake County.
The Leesburg Partnership’s Imagine…Lee Study Group has met numerous times, including a Community Charette on November 10, 2007. This charette was attended by seventy-five individuals including private citizens, development interests, and government officials. A consensus was reached that the best use for the property would be an educational use such as Beacon College. Representatives of Beacon College have expressed to the Imagine…Lee Study Group sincere interest in acquiring the property and moving their current operations to the site. The existing Beacon College buildings on Main Street could then be sold, redeveloped and returned to the tax rolls. The Lee School property is zoned P (Public) in which schools are a permitted use. The proposal is consistent with the City’s adopted Growth Management Plan, Future Land Use Element, Goal I, and Objective 1.6.
1. Approve the resolution of support for acquisition of Lee School by Beacon College;
2. Other such action as the Commission may deem appropriate.
There would be a positive fiscal impact to the City if the current Beacon facilities were returned to the tax roll.
Department: Community Development
Prepared by: Bill Wiley, AICP & Dan Miller, AICP
Attachments: Yes__X__ No ______
Advertised: ____Not Required ______
Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. __________________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
RESOLUTION NO. ______
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR BEACON COLLEGE IN THE ACQUISITION OF THE LEE SCHOOL BUILDING AND GROUNDS; AND HEREBY ENDORSING THE REUSE IN A MANNER IN KEEPING WITH THE HISTORIC CHARACTER OF THE SCHOOL AND SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOOD; AND ASKING THE LAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD FOR CONSIDERATION; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
WHEREAS, Lee School, constructed in 1915, is a locally cherished and historically significant structure; and
WHEREAS, Lee School was an important and powerful influence on the lives of many past and present citizens of Leesburg and Lake County; and
WHEREAS, the Leesburg Partnership’s Imagine…Lee Study Group, which includes private citizens, development interests and government officials has met on numerous occasions for the purpose of providing advice and ideas on saving and reusing these historic structures; and
WHEREAS, the Leesburg Partnership’s Imagine…Lee Study Group, held a Community Charette on November 10, 2007 which was attended by seventy-five individuals including private citizens, development interests and government officials, and a consensus was reached that the best reuse of the property would be limited educational use such as Beacon College and that the second best use would be public offices; and
WHEREAS, the City of Leesburg, Florida does wish to recognize the important role Lee School has played in the City’s past, and does desire that this role should not end but be remembered and preserved for the benefit of future generations of Leesburg and Lake County residents, and
WHEREAS, this historic location should be re-utilized by an agency with a concern for preservation of the historic nature of the structures and area.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Commission of Leesburg, Florida:
Section 1. That the City of Leesburg does hereby endorse and encourage the concept of the acquisition of Lee School by Beacon College as a positive reuse strategy for the community.
Section 2. That the City of Leesburg does hereby endorse and encourage the acquisition of Lee School property by Beacon College for the purpose of redevelopment in a manner consistent with the historic character of the existing school buildings and neighborhood .
Section 3. That the City of Leesburg does hereby respectfully encourage the Lake County School Board to sincerely consider a transaction of the Lee School property to Beacon College.
PASSED AND RESOLVED this 17th day of December, 2007, by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida.