Helena Public Schools are currently considering putting the 7th Ave Gym property out for request for proposals (RFP).
The Helena Public School Board of Trustees Facilities and Maintenance Committee met on Monday to discuss developing an RFP process for the historic property.
“We are considering a two tier proposal process, realizing that people that might want to use it might not have the resources to jump into a huge project,” said Chair of the Facilities Committee Terry Beaver.
The first tier would allow interested parties to present their vision of the property, while not necessarily having to make the monetary commitment that comes with a standard RFP.
“The second tier of the proposal would then be far more complex and similar to other RFPs,” said Beaver. “Hopefully we can get some people that might be interested in various utilizations. We would like to see it being used for community resource, most particularly school age children.”
The old gym is structurally sound, but will need significant investment to get it ready for possible new uses and bring it into compliance.
The committee also expressed concerns on making sure the property doesn’t sit vacant, and any business or organization that uses the building is able to maintain the upkeep.
During construction on the new Central School, contractors used the 7th Avenue Gym as office space. Currently, the school district uses it mostly for storage.
The proposed RFP process will be brought before the next Helena School Board meeting on Feb. 11. The board will provide more input and discussion about the proposed process and the future of 7th Ave gym.