The city of Cannon Beach is negotiating lease terms with the Cannon Beach Academy for use of the former Cannon Beach Children’s Center, which will require major modifications before use.
The Cannon Beach School was purchased with taxes levied on Cannon Beach District residents. The consolidation of the Cannon Beach School District into the Seaside School District eventually resulted in closure of the Cannon Beach Elementary School in 2013.
When the school districts merged, the school property was also transferred to the Seaside School District. This agreement should have included a reversionary clause that should the Cannon Beach School no longer be used by the Seaside School District its ownership would revert to Cannon Beach. Instead, the city of Cannon Beach is planning to buy the Cannon Beach School from the Seaside School District for a second time for an estimated $450,000.
The property on which the Children’s Center is located was deeded from the Tolovana Park Community Club to the City of Cannon Beach for one dollar in 1987. The city assumed ownership of the Children’s Center’s building after it closed in 2016.
Based on these facts, I recommend that the city take one of three actions: 1) Take legal action to recover the property from the Seaside School District and then credit the Cannon Beach Academy with the $450,000 that the city has set aside for this purchase. This would preserve the original investment in a local school for Cannon Beach children; 2) in the lease agreement with the Cannon Beach Academy, eliminate rent since the Tolovana property and facility were obtained at little cost to the city; and 3) pay for or deduct renovation expenses from the lease.
Charging rent is not good stewardship when it is counter to the historic will of the community to have a local school.