Ritenour Purchases Overland Baptist Church Property
The Ritenour School District has purchased the Overland Baptist Church Property located at 9303 Midland Blvd. in Overland. The new facility will be called the “Husky Support Center.”
The district purchased the property, which includes 64,000 square feet of building space on a 3.7-acre lot, for $425,000. For the past two years, Ritenour rented the site for its award-winning transportation department, which houses 28 district buses, bus drivers and department employees.
The Ritenour Board of Education unanimously approved an agreement to purchase the property in February 2019. The district officially closed on the property on July 11.
Ritenour 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 the expansion of district programs in the future.
On Oct. 10, the Ritenour Board approved a $305,600 bid package from Wachter Inc. for upgrades to the facility. The scope of work includes plumbing and electrical additions and upgrades, structural updates, new lighting, concrete work and renovations.
The district will use a low-interest, lease-financing agreement to pay for the property and construction. This financing spreads out the payments over a longer period instead of paying for them in one large payment.
Ritenour Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride said he is excited about the opportunities 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 750 families and approximately 4,000 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 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 2017 because of unsustainable rent costs and lack of funding. The pantry is expected to move to the new site in early 2020.
“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,” Kilbride noted.
Although the district now owns the property, an agreement has been made to let Overland Baptist continue to use some spaces in the facility, including a chapel and classrooms, for church services and congregational programs for the next two years.