A written agreement has been drafted by the Lower Kuskokwim School District and the City of Bethel to open up the Old Armory Gym for community use. The document is just a memorandum of understanding, not a binding document. The Bethel City Council is likely to approve the terms at tonight’s meeting, moving negotiations along.
The MOU has thirteen clauses, including ones that require both LKSD and the City keep the space clean and not double book events.
But the biggest clause could be about how each side will pay for the gym use.
LKSD Superintendent Gary Baldwin said each side will likely split the bill, which could be anywhere between $70-100,000 annually, right down the middle.
Even 50% of that is a steeper rate than the $10,000 LKSD pays for gym use now.
“I believe it’s manageable,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said there’s a few hurdles before an actual, binding agreement can be drawn up.
First he said the City Council has to approve it and then the agreement goes to the school board, which meets on December 7th.
“From that, if that’s approved by the council and by our school board, then we’ll proceed to working with the guard on some kind of lease agreement,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said both parties would like to set up separate leases with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which is in charge of the National Guard and all it’s assets.
Baldwin said LKSD would be open to having one party sublet use of the Armory if separate leases cannot be reached.
Officials with the city elected not to comment for this story, as council had not yet discussed the issue and will do so at tonight’s meeting.