Ritenour Signs Agreement to Purchase Overland Baptist Church Property
The Ritenour School District Board of Education unanimously approved an agreement to purchase the Overland Baptist Church property at 9303 Midland Blvd. The district has 90 days before closing on the property in mid-May for inspections and to ensure it is suitable for the district’s intended uses.
The district is purchasing the property, which includes 55,000 square feet of building space on a 3.7-acre lot, for $425,000. Ritenour currently rents the site for its transportation department, which houses 28 district buses, bus drivers and department employees.
The district plans to continue using the property as its transportation hub. In addition, the site will be used for centralized storage to free up much needed space in schools and will be the new home of the Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry. The building also offers space for expansion of programs or other uses in the future.
The district will use certificates of participation (COPS) to pay for the property. This financing spreads out the payments over a longer period instead of paying for them in one large payment. A COP is a low-interest, lease-financing agreement used to acquire real property.
Ritenour Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride said he is excited about the possibilities the newly acquired property will offer the district.
“Last year, our transportation department received the Fleet of Excellence Award from the Missouri Highway Patrol and had more than a 99 percent on-time rating,” he said. “We are thrilled to acquire prime real estate in the heart of our district to provide a permanent home for our award-winning department.”
Kilbride added that the size of the property will allow the district to free up storage space in school buildings by providing a new site for centralized district storage and provide a new location for the Ritenour Co-Care food pantry.
“The Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry is the second largest pantry in the St. Louis area and serves 850 families and approximately 4,500 people per month,” Kilbride said. “It is a vital resource for many of our families and an asset to our community. By purchasing this property, we will give the pantry an opportunity to move to a more cost-effective and centralized location.”
The food pantry currently rents space under the building at 9516 Lackland Road. Ritenour Co-Care is a charitable, non-profit organization that relies heavily on volunteers and donations. The pantry almost closed in July of 2017 because of unsustainable rent costs and lack of funding.
“This action secures the future of the Ritenour Co-Care Pantry,” Kilbride noted. “We are committed to serving the “whole child” in Ritenour and we know that basic needs must be met if we expect children to learn at high levels.”