Friday, May 23, 2008

FBN: FBISD Cancels Sienna HS Land Purchase

FBISD Terminates Contract To Purchase Sienna Property For School
by John Pape, FBN

Fort Bend ISD’s on-again, off-again deal to purchase property in Sienna Plantation for a new high school is off again, this time apparently for good.

In a specially-called meeting that lasted until after 11 p.m. Thursday evening, school trustees voted to terminate the contract with HW Sienna, L.P., and request the return of earnest money paid to secure the property. The vote came at the end of an almost two hour executive session during which the board debated the decision behind closed doors.

Trustees voted to terminate the contract by a 5-2 vote, with newly-elected board members Daniel Menendez and Susan Hohnbaum casting the dissenting votes.

In March, the board had voted to buy 77 acres of property from HW Sienna for $3.35 million. Although specific details on what caused the deal to fall through were not publicly revealed, trustees alluded to “conditions” and “constraints” placed on finalizing the deal by the seller.

The district has been under the gun to finalize the purchase in order meet deadlines to build a new high school in the eastern part of the district.

Trustee David Reitz, who made the motion to terminate the contract, voiced his frustration over dealing with the seller, asking Superintendent Dr. Timothy Jenney if the purchase of the Sienna property had been typical.

“How long have we been negotiating to do a routine transaction?” Reitz asked. “Dr. Jenney, you’ve been at this for a long time; is this normally a six-month process?”

Jenney said it was not.

“Generally, it’s fairly straight forward,” he explained.

Trustee Bob Broxson, who seconded Reitz’ motion to pull out of the deal, echoed the frustration.

“We’ve worked really hard to get a high school in Sienna,” Broxson said. “I’ve been (doing) contract negotiations for 25 years and I’ve never been in a process like this. I think it’s time to bring this sad chapter to an end and get on with building a high school.” --follow the link above for the full piece--




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(N) sample =  632


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