Middletown Schools to pay $380K up front to lease part of city building for five years

Oct. 30—The city of Middletown and the Middletown City Schools District appear ready to extend their lease agreement, and use the money to make capital improvements and repairs to the city building, One Donham Plaza.

The new lease would require the school district to pay $381,524.67 up front for the five-year lease and 100% of that money would be used to "rapidly tackle" capital improvements and repairs in the 46-year-old building, according to city documents.

The city needs to upgrade the city building's windows and HVAC system, according to City Manager Paul Lolli.

Treasurer Randy Bertram said the district was paying about $76,300 the last year of the 10-year lease and that price won't increase over the length of the new lease.

In 2013, City Council approved a lease for the fourth floor, and that lease was scheduled to expire on June 20, 2023, Lolli said. The city and the school district have tentatively agreed to extend the term for an additional five years.

The proposed lease extension would extend the term of the lease to June of 2028. Under the current lease agreement, the school district pays an annual lease amount to the city with an inflationary increase applied each year.

The district uses the fourth floor for its administrative office operations.

Chris Urso, board president, called the new lease "a win/win" because it provides the city the necessary funds and locks in a rate for the district.

"It clicks all the boxes," he said. "This is the best fit."

The district enjoys being located in the same building as city employees, Urso added.

City council is expected to vote on the ordinance after hearing the second reading at Tuesday night's meeting. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.