School district to sell historic Camas armory building

Proceeds will fund future property acquisitions

The old Camas National Guard Armory will soon be sold as “surplus” to fund future Camas School District property acquisitions.

At their regular meeting on Nov. 27, the Camas School Board approved a resolution to deem the property, located at 920 N.W. Hill St., in Camas, as surplus, allowing for the building’s eventual sale to a private party.

Doreen McKercher, the school district’s communications director, said the district first acquired the property many years ago, and that the building transferred to the state of Washington in 1955, and then back to the district in 2006. In 2001, the Camas Public Library moved its operations into the armory building for nearly two years, while contractors expanded and renovated the downtown Camas building where the library is located today.

The Camas School District (CSD) has leased the property to the Vancouver Elite Gymnastics Academy (VEGA) since 2007, VEGA CEO Martin Miller said.

The district must sell the property for at least its appraised value of $520,000, said Jasen McEathron, the school district’s director of business service.

Proceeds from the armory sale will be deposited into the district’s Capital Project Fund and earmarked for future property acquisitions, McKercher said.

VEGA has expressed interest in purchasing the property, and the business’ lease gives VEGA first right of refusal when the property goes on the market.

State law requires the district to publish an intent to sell in a local newspaper and then the property cannot be sold until 45 days after the publication date. The district published the intent to sell notice in the Nov. 30 edition of the Post-Record, meaning the property cannot be sold until Jan. 14, 2018.

Currently, VEGA is the only party that has expressed any interest in purchasing the building, Mckercher said. However, the district could receive other offers for the property over the next 45 days.

Miller said that VEGA has had a longstanding presence at the location, which he would like to continue.

At the Nov. 27 board meeting, CSD Superintendent Jeff Snell, said that there’s been a long relationship between VEGA and the school district, and that the sale would be a “win-win” for the district and the gymnastics business.

“We value the opportunities (VEGA) provides for the youth in our community and would like to see their continued presence in the community,” McKercher said.

Snell said he is excited to see what new owners will do with the historic building.