PASD Answers Meadow Brook Questions

How did they come up with a price for the property is among the most frequently asked questions.

The Phoenixville Area School District is getting a lot of questions about the recent vote to purchase the Meadow Brook Country Club property.

UPDATE as of 9:00 a.m. Wednesday:

Following the posting of this article Patch received the following email in response to the Q&A release from the PASD:

The Patch: 

In response to the article in The Patch November 20 regarding PASD’s eminent domain proceeding against Meadow Brook Golf Club, Pat and Bruce want to let everyone know that we are not and have not been willing sellers.  We were always open to offers, but never stated we wanted to sell to PASD.  If the school board wants it, they should make us a realistic offer, which they never have.  It is true we have had discussions with the school board over the years, but they have never been willing to meet our asking price. 

Pat Campbell Young & Bruce Campbell

The following questions and answers were provided to Patch by the PASD:

Are the Meadow Brook Golf Course Owners willing sellers?

Yes.  The District has been in discussions, off and on, with the Meadow Brook Owners for over the past five years.  During that time, the Owners have repeatedly stated their desire to sell the property to PASD, as well as to other potential buyers.  As recently as May 2013, the Owners of Meadow Brook again initiated the conversation asking if the District was interested in purchasing their property.  In a letter dated October 24, 2013, the Owners rejected the most recent offer made by the District, but restated their desire to sell the property to Phoenixville Area School District. 


How did the District determine “Fair Market Value”?

As part of the District’s property acquisition process, a professional real estate appraisal was completed in May of this year, placing a fair market value on the property of $3.725 Million.  The District requested an appraisal indicating the “highest and best use” of the property; the reasonable and probable use that will support the highest present value of the property.  In this case, the highest and best use, for appraisal purposes, is for development of the property as a residential subdivision with 55 lots.  The appraisers looked at comparable sales in the area, market conditions, cost to construct homes, etc.  With all of these considerations in mind, the fair market value of the property at this time was appraised at the $3.725 Million figure.  In 2008, with the booming housing market resulting in much higher land values, the District offered the Meadow Brook Owners $8 Million for the property.  At that time, the Owners of Meadow Brook were convinced it was worth $14 Million, and negotiations stalled to a halt.  As we have stated, the District is committed to a fair outcome for all parties—the current Owners of Meadow Brook, the District, and the taxpayers—but, we have a fiduciary responsibility not to overpay for any property.


Did the District really look at any properties aside from Meadow Brook Golf Course?

Yes.  The District conducted an extensive search for suitable properties.  In December 2012, the District engaged a real estate consultant to assist with identifying properties of at least 20 acres in size anywhere in the Borough of Phoenixville, East Pikeland Township and Schuylkill Township.  In total, 95 properties were identified across all three municipalities.  Fifty properties (53% of total) were in East Pikeland Township. 

In March 2013, when the Board chose the construction of a new combination district-wide early learning center/elementary school as its long-term solution, an evaluation model using weighted criteria was used to rank the properties.  The weighted criteria included factors such as total size in acres, proximity to the center of the district, proximity to the center of East Pikeland Township, quality of road access, and ease of development.  The evaluation model produced a short list of highly ranked properties which were investigated further, including site visits by District personnel.  In addition, the District contacted the owners of the highly ranked properties to explore the possibility of acquiring their land.

In May/June 2013, two finalist properties emerged:  Technical College High School – Pickering Campus (TCHS-P) on Charlestown Road at Buckwalter Road and Meadow Brook Golf Course.  Both properties were pursued in parallel over several months through the summer and fall.  The pursuit included in depth conversations with the Chester County Intermediate Unit and negotiations with the Meadow Brook Owners.  After the elimination of TCHS-P as a viable site, the District was left with only Meadow Brook Golf Course as the site for the required new school.


Horse November 20, 2013 at 09:20 PM
I also agree with DJ2 and Mummy2! But, Meadowbrook is totally steeped in History, and you almost have to be living under a rock not to know that. But you're right not to confuse those two issues. Either the owners are serious in selling or not. If not, then it's a shame and a real irony that it should be involved in a hostile take-over.
Bob Brown November 20, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Eminent domain = hostile takeover by our government for the greater good of our community
Paul O'Leary November 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM
I've seen the school board, our fellow citizens, struggle with the issue of where to build new facilities for years. It usually comes down to "not in my backyard". They have tried to work in a timely manner on this issue, but as we all know negotiations take an extraordinary amount of time. Unfortunately the student population is growing at very quick rate and time has run out. Sooner or later you have to make a decision, and it is now that time. Also, as much as I appreciate the historical sentiment surrounding the property, I think it still comes down to money. There would never have been an issue if the school board offered the asking price for the property. And for all of us who have bought and sold property how often do you get asking price.
Bob Brown November 21, 2013 at 04:14 PM
On asking price - for me, my wife & I got our asking price and sold my last home and paid more than asking price for current home because there was a lack of properties available in the neighborhood we wanted to live in so we ponied up for the spot we wanted and best suited us. But that was in a market system. Had we been able to dictate OUR terms and have the government back us up, we would have paid less than half what we did pay; which was fair market value. We have a fiduciary responsibility to our family to not over spend, but that excuse didn't work so we paid fair market value for our current home. That is what everyone expects to happen when we by and sell property. When the government steps in and takes personal property with price dictated by a few individuals, that's when I start to have problems. There's something called the 5th amendment which backs me up there.


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