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MCPS debating lease option for old administration building

MCPS 6th Street Administration
Posted at 5:48 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 23:34:09-04

MISSOULA — Missoula County Public Schools trustees are wrestling with the idea of leasing the district's old administration building to a tenant that serves alcohol, running afoul of a district prohibition.

The District is moving out of the Sixth Street Administration Building and has looked for someone to lease the former school, rather than buying it. The problem is that one of the viable offers is for a business depending on alcohol service, and that's against MCPS policy on school property.

Trustees discussed making an exception on Tuesday with the board worried it could impact other school properties. MCPS attorney Megan Morris explained smaller Montana districts frequently do make an exception.

"School buildings are often the largest facility, and so schools are often rented for, you know, community events, wedding receptions -- that type of thing where boards have allowed it," Moore said. "There's nothing in state or federal law that prohibits consumption of alcohol in school facilities. So, this is entirely a matter of board policy and board wishes."

The business owner seeking the lease said he'd need alcohol sales to make the project viable. A committee will continue working on recommendations.