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Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2001

District creates deadline for sale

September 11, 2001

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Unity Church of Lawrence was given three weeks Monday to submit a final $905,000 contract to buy the district's old headquarters.

Members of the board have grown increasingly frustrated by six months of slow-moving negotiations. They registered that sentiment by setting a 5 p.m. Oct. 1 deadline for the North Lawrence congregation to submit a contract.

"I think they're dragging their feet," said board member Jack Davidson, who has consistently opposed the sale.

Sue Morgan, board president and proponent of the sale, said half a year was sufficient to compose a contract.

"We need to move on," Morgan said. "I had the feeling we were not going to be a holding company."

She said the deadline was a business move and not a "punitive action."

In March, the board voted 4-3 to sell the building at 3705 Clinton Parkway to Unity Church. The congregation wanted to obtain a larger site because it had outgrown its building at 416 Lincoln.

Officials with Unity Church couldn't be reached Monday night, but the district's superintendent, Randy Weseman, said he was convinced the church still intended to go through with the deal.

After the church submitted its $905,000 bid in February, the city's fire marshal informed church leaders that city code required a sprinkler system be installed in the basement under what would be a sanctuary.

The district hasn't needed the Clinton Parkway property for two years. The district moved into a new $4.1 million building at 110 McDonald Drive in late 1999.

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