The Times is reporting that First A.M.E. Church operated a daycare at Seattle Central Community College - rent-free - for 16 years. (Yes, I know - how is that possible?) The daycare was allowed to do this by a program at SCCC called Seattle Vocational Institute whose students' children were to have first-in enrollment. The daycare ran from Sep. 1997 to June 2013.
From the Times:
First A.M.E., which closed the daycare in June, paid no rent to the Institute - a value the school estimates would have exceeded $650k over 16 years. It also paid no utilities or janitorial costs, worth an additional $158k or so. SCCC president, Pual Killpatrick, said the college had identified this problem contract and that the church was notified in Jne they would need to vacate. The church did end up paying for utilities and janitorial services from Sep. 2012 to June 2013.
Troy Niemeyer, the auditor's whistle-blower manager, stated, "It amounts to the state giving money away to a nonprofit."
Interestingly, the Institute's executive dean who signed the contract 16 years ago, is now retired on serves on the First A.M.E. board.
The Times mentions that the church now owns the MLK, Jr. building, having purchased it in 2010 from the district for $2.4M.
This story ties in a bit with the Mann building issue.
One, because there were multiple groups using the Mann building without paying the district rent or paying for services. Dollars were lost when the district was not paid.
Two, because the MLK, Jr. building, according to the last report given to the Board, is not full and so it begs the question of why the groups who were in the Mann building don't want to use a community building in the same area. (First A.M.E. - as part of the condition of the sale - has to give a report to the district so the district can make sure that the building is indeed accessible and low-cost to community groups.)