CASA Mia Montessori School is set to remain on Hamilton Street after Bassendean council agreed to negotiate selling the land to the school at last month’s council meeting.
Council voted to negotiate with the school to ensure the Town and the community would not be financially disadvantaged by the land sale, seek legal advice and for the chief executive to investigate a solution for council’s consideration.
In July 2016, council granted an extension of the lease for the school until 2019 and voted to consider the sale of 11 Hamilton Street if the school purchased a property on 16 Whitfield Street and a portion of the BIC Reserve currently included in the leasehold.
The school informed council in December that 16 Whitfield Street was not on the market, reconfirmed its preparedness to purchase Hamilton at market value and agreed to prepare a local development plan.
According to an officer’s report, the property was last valued in 2013 at $520,000 and will be revaluated in 2017.
School board chair Claudio Pellegrini said the school started to look for properties in Bassendean about three years ago.
“The school has been here for 18 years so it is just pure logic that we try to establish ourselves here… the reason why we want to buy the property is that there is sustainability here,” he said.
“Going into the future, if we have to hop from two year to two year leases, always with uncertainty as we may not get the lease again – this would actually kill the school straight away.”
Mr Pellegrini said the school was waiting for council’s approval of the sale before they applied for capital funding in April.
“We can actually have a staged approach but also, if we owned this property, the world is our oyster,” he said.
“From purely space wise, we could actually grow rather than stay the size we are.”
Principal Janet Laing said there were 54 students in the school, which was under its capacity of 70.
Ms Laing said the board funded for recent renovations to the administration building and the front of the school.