Charter school’s building corporation purchases building


By Randi Pierce

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) Building Corporation closed on the purchase of the building housing PPOS on May 1, ensuring a permanent home for the charter school.

PPOS has been renting space in the building, previously owned by Parelli Pagosa Properties LLP, since it opened in the fall of 2017.

“PPOS is excited about this milestone for the school,” School Director Angela Reali Crossland wrote in an email to The SUN. 

To purchase the building, the PPOS Building Corporation received a direct loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to an email from PPOS Business Manager Chenni Hammon.

The USDA loan is at 2.375 percent for 40 years and is for $2.9 million, she noted, with a purchase price of $4.4 million.

Along with that, the building corporation received a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and a $1 million donation from Mark Weiler. The school used $100,000 from reserves toward the purchase, Hammon indicated.

The building corporation is the legal owner of the building, with PPOS being the primary tenant until the building is paid off, at which time ownership will be transferred to PPOS, Hammon indicated.

That, she explained, is because of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).

“TABOR laws restrict schools from entering into multi year debt therefore the Building Corporation was formed as a pass through entity for the school. The bylaws of the building corporations are written to ensure Pagosa Peak Open School is the sole beneficiary of all building proceeds,” she wrote.

Hammon further noted that, per the agreement, Parelli Natural Horsemanship will continue to occupy the warehouse for six months as that company finalizes “needed infrastructure on the ranch.”

“This is in reciprocity for additional space used by the school during the last school year,” Hammon wrote.

“We look forward to renovating the building to best fit our project-based learning needs. It will not only bring better educational space but more security for our students and a kitchen for food service. As we build out the building we hope to partner with other nonprofit organizations to create a community hub that supports education in many forms,” Crossland wrote.

PPOS has had “many conversations” with local nonprofits about sharing the building, Hammon explained, though no partnerships have been finalized.

Hammon noted that PPOS “immediately begin cleaning and renovating the upper floor offices to become classrooms. We need to enclose the atrium and front stairwell. We will be adding fire security doors to the stairwell as well as making needed repairs to the roof and lighting in the parking lot. We hope to have these items completed in the next 12 months.”