Foutch exercises option on school buildings

Foutch Brothers LLC of Kansas City, Mo., has exercised the option on the Fair Oaks and Phillips school buildings.

A specialty of the firm is repurposing historic buildings as apartments while preserving the exteriors.

The Fort Dodge Community School District is in the process of drafting a purchase agreement, Brandon Hansel, FDCSD director of financial services, said.

“They contacted us on March 10, exercising their option to purchase the properties,” Hansel said.

For $1 per property, Foutch Brothers will receive Fair Oaks Middle School at 416 S. 10th St., and the school building portion of Phillips Middle School, 1015 Fifth Ave. N.

“Their plans are to convert those into apartments,” Hansel said. “They’re going to get to work on that as soon as they take possession of the properties.”

Holy Trinity Parish has an agreement with the school district to purchase the Phillips gymnasium and its track and field, which is the south portion of that property, for $362,500.

“We formally notified them that we’ve reached an agreement with Foutch Brothers on the north portion,” Hansel said. “Now they can go to work on things on their end for closing purposes.”

Foutch Brothers first optioned the buildings in June 2013, and was given an extension in December 2013 to March 31, 2014.

The FDCSD is now acting to complete the sale.

“Next, we have to get a purchase agreement signed with Foutch,” Hansel said. “Once that’s executed, we anticipate closing on both middle school properties in the next 60 days. Then we’ll be able to release ownership to Foutch, and move forward with our other plans.”

According to Hansel, the process of selling the buildings has gone smoothly.

“The whole process has been very agreeable,” he said. “The school district, the city and Holy Trinity Parish have all worked well together in partnership to assist Foutch in making this project a reality. I think the community will be very happy with the end result. They’re going to be able to see the existing middle schools be repurposed and preserved for many years to come.”