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City working toward lease deal with Young Men United
Bernard School proposed lease4.jpg

A lease agreement for the old Bernard School property is moving forward.

Roof replacement on the gymnasium is complete and the insurance settlement has been received by the city of McMinnville. In June, that work prompted a halt to the lease agreement. 

“We are now down to the position where we can enter into a formal lease with Young Men United,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night.

Lease duration will be 20 years at $1 a year.

“The city will maintain third party and causality insurance on the premises,” said Pirtle. “It would be incumbent upon Young Men United to carry any additional insurance coverage they may choose. The property will be as any other city property subject to the same rules and regulations regarding activities and hours of operation. We do anticipate, and this lease is in partial consideration to the fact, that this facility will be used for community and civic purposes.”

Organization members must maintain their nonprofit charter status and provide the city with proof annually, as well as supply the city with a copy of their bylaws and operating rules. 

YMU members requested the property as a way to preserve what remains of the old Bernard School and preserve it for future generations. 

YMU president Donald Crisp expressed a desire to renovate the gym and open it to underprivileged children who cannot afford to use McMinnville Civic Center.

Wayne Wolford voiced an interest in offering a Black History Museum on the property and having the property added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

Pirtle says Mayor Ben Newman will review the lease and then it will be presented to Young Men United for its consideration and signature. If both those hurdles are successfully cleared, Board of Mayor and Aldermen approval will be the final stage in the process.