Wednesday, October 12, 2011

District 27J Reaches Agreement with Aurora and Gaylord on Conference Center Urban Renewal Plan

After nearly two months of negotiations, School District 27J has consented to the inclusion of agricultural property within their boundaries to be included into the Aurora Conference Center Urban Renewal Plan.

The City of Aurora requested this consent, as required by law, to move forward its plan to bring the Gaylord state-of- the-art conference center to the area. The conference center is expected to include approximately 1,500 hotel rooms and 350,000 to 400,000 square feet of meeting space. The development plan requires the site to be placed into an urban renewal area. The plan further requires that increases from property taxes resulting from this development be utilized as part of the financing. Urban renewal areas are typical in these types of large developments.

While recognizing the long-term economic benefit of this project to the area, the District focused its negotiation on mitigating any risk to its operating revenue, ability to construct new facilities and providing enhanced educational opportunities to the students of School District 27J.

The parties agreed that there are unique financial needs in the district and have worked to mitigate those concerns including the City of Aurora’s agreement to support the District’s Capital Facility Fee Foundation. In addition, Gaylord was pleased to be able to offer a series of educational opportunities to students available through the hotel and conference center to help complete the agreement.

In giving their consent, the District joins Adams County, the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District and the Rangeview Library District who had previously given their consent.

School District 27J Superintendent Dr. Rod L. Blunck said, “The District is highly satisfied with the outcome of these negotiations. The City of Aurora and Gaylord listened to our financial concerns and our vision of opportunities for students and worked as true partners to accomplish these goals. The opportunity to partner with Gaylord to provide this number of jobs, coupled with the long-term opportunity for our students to receive internships, summer employment opportunities and career coaching will prove to be the hallmark of this project for our District.”

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