Tyler ISD: Tennis and swim club deal must go to members

Published on Thursday, 1 May 2014 20:50 - Written by Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

An offer by Tyler ISD to purchase Tyler Tennis and Swim Club is on the table, but it is unclear what, if any, decision club members have made about it.

The four-person executive committee of Tyler Tennis and Swim Club was scheduled to meet with a local attorney Thursday to consider the school district’s offer to purchase the club, which is at 320 Shiloh Road.

The TISD school board on Monday approved making an offer to purchase the club for the possible future use of a new Robert E. Lee High School.

Attorney Jim Gillen, who is representing the club in this matter, said any decision about accepting TISD’s offer would require two-thirds approval of the club’s membership.

The most the executive committee would do Thursday was make a recommendation to the club’s membership, which then would have to vote at a later time, likely within one week, Gillen said.

Before the meeting, Gillen declined to comment about any decisions until today. Interim club manager Gary Olive could not be reached by phone for comment Thursday evening.

The club’s 8 acres are on the south side of Lee’s approximately 58 acres. TISD board members said Monday that the district is solely interested in the land and not the buildings or amenities on it.

Board President the Rev. Orenthia Mason said Monday that owning the additional land would provide the district with options as far as the positioning of a new Lee on the site, new infrastructure and a new traffic route for the campus.

Any future work on Lee and/or John Tyler high schools would require the board to call a bond election and the TISD voters to approve it.

If Tyler Tennis and Swim accepts TISD’s offer, the district would use leftover 2008 bond funds to make the purchase.

TISD has more than $5.4 million in leftover 2008 bond funds, but Rev. Mason and board Vice President Andy Bergfeld declined to say how much the district planned to offer for the property on Monday, citing a desire to let the negotiation process run its course.

Bergfeld said Monday that if TISD purchased the property, it would allow Tyler Tennis and Swim to stay there as a tenant until the district needs the land. The club would assume all expenses and liability during that time.

TISD Superintendent Gary Mooring previously said if TISD purchases the property, the plan would be to demolish the facilities on it.