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|School sale opens door to upgrades for sports|
|Written by Samantha Silberman|
|Tuesday, 26 October 2010 22:32|
The Tombstone Unified School District is only a few small steps away from selling the old Tombstone High School to William Smith of J&W Transformations, LLC.
The property will go through renovations and ultimately become a high-end hotel called the Grand Oriental Hotel. The hotel will be composed of 80 Victorian style rooms.
"We have signed a memorandum of understanding and the sale is finally able to more forward," said Tombstone High School Principal Robert Devere.
As part of the agreement, construction on new sports facilities for the current high school should begin soon after the first of the year.
"We will fund the sports facility for the new Tombstone high school," Smith said.
He explained that there is still a little more paperwork to be finished but the sale is finalized. Smith said the goal is to have all legal work completed by Dec. 30.
"The value of the sports facility is going to be approximately $1.8 million," said Karl Uterhardt, superintendent of the Tombstone Unified School District. "Smith is going to pay for the sports facility and when the construction is finished he will pay us $300,000."
The new high school will have a new baseball diamond, tennis courts and softball field. The football field will sport new lights, bleachers, and a press box.
Uterhardt explained that it took a lot of time to make this happen but the time has finally come to get this remodel going. Both the lawyers and the people within the Tombstone Unified District finally reached an agreement in order to jumpstart these projects.
Not only is the sale of the old Tombstone High School beneficial to the board and to the school district, but it is also an asset to the general public. Once the hotel is up and running, this could potentially increase tourism to Tombstone.
The manager of the Longhorn Restaurant, Dawn Mitchell, thinks this will draw in more hungry tourists. "The more people who eat, the more revenue we make, so this can only help us," Mitchell said.
Mary Bate, who has been a waitress at Longhorn Restaurant for nine years, has a different perspective.
"I am not sure how much this hotel is going to help Tombstone," Bate said.
"From what I have heard, the rooms are going to be very expensive, around $500 a night, and I do not know who would want to pay that much for a room in Tombstone."
Uterhardt, on the other hand, thinks that the hotel is going to help the tourism in Tombstone.
"The biggest complaint that I hear from people is that the smaller hotels and motels are too far from the main part of town. Once this hotel is opened, people will have a place to stay that is walking distance to town," he said.