I have written about Barat Academy in the past. So, for the record, this post for the record. There sure seems like there is more to this thing than meets the eye.
Why a bank would think that an abandoned school building is more saleable than working out an agreement with the school in it is unclear to me. And I am sure that this situation doesn't give a lot of confidence to prospective students and their parents.
And in a completely unrelated note, why not include the "Saint" in the name of this Catholic school?
Catholic school says it might have to move
Debby Watson, the four-year-old school's president, said Barat has made a series of offers to resolve the financial dispute but all have been rejected.
"In this current economy, no property is worth what it had been worth, and the banks won't show our attorney how their appraisals could possibly justify a very high value for the property," Watson said. "There are plenty of other buildings available today that can meet our needs at a much more realistic cost."
Barat officials also said they would continue to try to negotiate a lease or purchase of the campus to allow the school to stay put.
Watson's comments were in a news release issued after a briefing in the school's gym for parents, faculty and staff members. The briefing was closed to the media. The release didn't say what locations might be considered but said the school would remain open.
CP-SPE LLC, which is now controlled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., sued earlier this year because Barat stopped paying its $25,000 monthly rent in November.
Last month the school signed a consent judgment agreeing to pay about $216,000 in back rent and interest. The judgment also gave possession of the property to the FDIC-controlled company. Last Thursday an order signed by St. Charles County Circuit Judge Jon Cunningham said the company could force the school to leave.
Paul McKee Jr., Barat's board chairman, has said the FDIC gained ownership after the failure of Premier Bank in October. He has said Premier owned about two-thirds of the school's debt and the remainder belongs to Enterprise Bank.