Mold a hitch in Kingsbury school sale |

Mold a hitch in Kingsbury school sale

Kingsbury Middle School in January of this year.
Brad Coman

A Lake Tahoe middle school that has been on the market for more than a half-dozen years will require some work after the buyer’s inspector reported finding water damage and mold.

The sale of Kingsbury Middle School has been in the works since 2012. It closed in 2008 due to declining Douglas school enrollment at Lake Tahoe.

A California company offered $3.75 million to the Douglas County School District for the building, but the due diligence inspection turned up more than $400,000 in repairs.

Pioneer Mountain plans to develop a Christian-based center for young people ages 5-23.

The inspection occurred during the 75-day due-diligence period.

According to Superintendent Teri White, the district obtained an extension through Tuesday in order to contact its insurance company.

White said Thursday that the school board approved a resolution to allow her to work with the school district’s attorneys to negotiate the selling price.

She said that negotiation would be to determine the district’s reduction in the sales price to mitigate the mold. However the sales price must remain above $3.525 million.

In January Pioneer Mountain was the high bidder for the school. A second offer came from California-based Vintage Housing Inc., who bid $3.5 million.

Pioneer Mountain is owned by Kirsten Vliet Cirne, according to Tahoe City Realtor Katie Foster, who is representing the purchaser.

Cirne is the wife of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Lewis Karl Cirne, who owns a cabin at Lake Tahoe. Pioneer Mountain is developing property on Tahoe’s west shore, Foster told school board members in January. If the district and Cirne’s representatives can reach a deal, the purchase could be done by May 1.

This may be the closest the school district has come to selling the former middle school.

It took four years on the market before the first offer was received on the property in July 2016. But Lake Parkway’s offer of $3.15 million fell through in 2017.

In December 2017, the school board put the school on the market for $3.45 million. Under Nevada law, public property must be sold at the appraised price or higher.

The school was built in 1976 for $1.6 million, when Douglas County’s portion of Lake Tahoe was growing rapidly.

The school property was originally put up for $4 million and didn’t receive any offers until Lake Parkway in 2015.

If the purchase goes through, the funds would go into the district’s capitol improvements budget, an area she said desperately needs funds to complete other district-wide projects.

Other Tahoe-Douglas schools, Whittell High and Zephyr Cove Elementary remain open.