“The Deed is Signed” – Charlton Heston Academy Closes on School Building

Superintendent of Charlton Heston Academy, David Patterson, announced at the June 28 board meeting that the closing on the school building would take place on June 29 at Houghton Lake Title. Patterson reported that the price of the building is $290,000 which includes the purchase price of $270,000 and $15,000 to $20,000 in closing costs. Additionally the board would be financing an additional $135,000 for paint and signage.

Patterson also reported that the intention is to “immediately look to refinance” for $550,000 in order to pay for additional upgrades that were unforeseen. The board is working with a federal agency, Rural Development, that will guarantee up to 80% of the loan. The additional funds are needed for items such as a new fire alarm system, exit signage, and concrete egress pads. Patterson also noted that there could be more upgrades pending inspections from the Bureau of Construction Codes. An inspection is scheduled for July 18. He noted “we will only borrow what we need”.

The mortgage is $4,500 per month at 5.5% interest rate. It is a 5 year loan amortized over 20 years. This is higher than the $2,700 per month that was recently approved in the budget. The board approved a motion to amend the budget.

Patterson reported that recently hired school principal, Jason Sarsfield, will be full time as of July 2nd. Additional hires were reported which included an office worker and registered nurse, Lisa McLeod and a Director of Operations and Building Safety, Mike Brown. Additional interviews continue to take place for other positions.

Patterson reported that LSSU Charter School Liaison Glenn Bachman was relocated and would no longer be representing CHA. Patterson expressed his sadness as Bachmann “is a friend and great to work with” but noted that he is looking forward to working with whomever LSSU assigns to the academy.

Patterson reported on the quotes for insurance. Gaylor Insurance provided a quote  for $6,500 but that they did not meet the guidelines required for a charter school. General Agency of Mt. Pleasant provided a quote of $16,764 and did meet the requirements of a charter school. This includes building insurance with a replacement cost of $4.5 million.  The board approved Patterson to purchase the insurance “up to $16,764” as Patterson noted he would still negotiate to see if the price could come down.

Patterson reported that community awareness was at the top of the list for activity, The budget provides for $5500 in community awareness. Patterson will do a live interview with WUPS radio station as well as receive 100 spots for a 30 second commercial. The cost for the campaign is $2500. Mailers and newspaper advertising will be part of the community awareness effort as the administration “brands the academy”.

Patterson reported that after a complete inventory of the school building it was determined that there was a good amount of usable furniture. With the savings this furniture created Patterson noted that some of the budget money for furniture could be moved to technology including $2,800 to start a media arts program.

The board and administration are beginning to expend implementation grant dollars. Patterson noted that $44,000 would be allotted to professional development. “We have to embrace our staff and become a family. We have to train our staff on the front end. And we have to sustain a high level of quality in our staff. because that is going to flow through the classrooms”.

Patterson reported that the academy will be borrowing 2 payrolls from the state since “we don’t receive dollars from the state until October 20. We will have about $100,000 in payroll”. Once state aid begins the academy will receive about $165,000 per month which will cover the mortgage, payroll, and accounts payable. The beginning accounts payable will be about $50,000 and will decrease to about $20,000 by January.

The board was presented with the CHA Board Operating Policies. President Jennifer Jarosz recommended that the approval of the policy be tabled in order for each board member to have time to review the large document.

A bond and resolution regarding the $425,000 mortgage was presented by Patterson and approved by the board. He noted “this has been thoroughly reviewed by legal counsel”.

Board member, Richard Wood, reported that with the assistance of the realtor the building committee was able to secure documentation regarding some fuel tanks that use to be buried on the school grounds. The paperwork, which was obtained from the State of Michigan, affirmed that the tanks had been removed, the grounds tested, and that there were no contamination.

The board approved a website maintenance agreement with Interactive Development LLC. The contract allows for a monthly payment up to $300 per month.

On June 29 Richard Wood and David Fultz of Charlton Heston Academy met with Stevens Loomis, Vice President and Commercial Lender of Firstbank and Bonnie  Odell of Coldwell Banker at Houghton Lake Title to sign the closing papers on the school building in St. Helen. The Roscommon Area School representatives had pre-signed the documents. “The deed is signed” as Richard Wood noted in a moment of reflective pride and accomplishment.


Stevens Loomis of Firstbank presents David Fultz with a check for $425,000 forthe purchase of Charlton Heston Academies school building. Also pictured is
Richard Wood of CHA and Bonnie Odell of Coldwell Banker.

Reprinted with permission – Roscommon County Weekly July 6, 2012 issue