A variety of organizations are involved in securing the future of the Paradise School. This type of community-wide collaboration taps local expertise and is fundamental to developing a workable plan that will enjoy the long-term support of the community.
The Paradise School Trustees, formed under Montana state law, supervised school operations for a century. The board is a taxing entity and holds legal title to the school. Since the school was closed in 2013, the board has until June 2016 to decide the disposition of the property. At present, trustees remain neutral and will consider the merits of all proposals for future use of the school—including the one described in this document—and will determine the terms and conditions for transfer.
While the 1910 deed contained some restrictions on the use of the property, the Sanders County attorney has determined that the language is no longer operative. Title is otherwise unencumbered.
If the trustees do not dispose of the property by 2016, the property will pass the the adjoining Plains School District.
The Committee consists of a dozen community residents who have volunteered to help repurpose the school. They bring a wide range of knowledge and talent to the task. County Commissioner Carol Brooker convenes Committee meetings.
As the repurposing plan is finalized, the Committee anticipates initiating the formation of a Montana nonprofit corporation to implement the plan. The corporation will likely apply for an IRC §501(c)(3) tax exemption.
The Committee is the author and proponent of this proposal.
The SCCDC is a Montana nonprofit corporation holding an IRC §501(c)(3) tax exemption. SCCDC’s purpose is to facilitate community development in Sanders County through several means including acting as fiscal agent for newly formed entities.
SCCDC has agreed to serve as fiscal agent for the Paradise Elementary School Preservation Committee, on a year-by-year basis, until the Committee forms a more formal entity. This allows the Committee to raise funds and have them administered and accounted for by SCCDC.