Braille Campus Could Sell to City of Vinton for One Dollar

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VINTON, Iowa — The Iowa Board of Regents next week will consider a proposal to sell the former Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School Campus at Vinton, to the City there for one dollar.

“The city of Vinton and the Braille school have been very cooperative during this three-year process,” said John Nash, Director of facilities for the Board of Regents, in a news release. “We’re excited to be able to transfer this property to the city for its future use and we are glad that these facilities will remain under local control.”

But the City of Vinton has not yet decided if this would be a good deal for them.

“There are some unknowns there are some knowns,” said Vinton City Administrator Chris Ward. “I am working through the numbers working through everything, but at the end of the day it’s going to be up to the City Council decide whether or not to purchase the campus.”

Ward said a committee has been studying the campus issue and a number of uses have been identified.

“Examples that range from demolishing the buildings all the way to redevelopment to housing,” said Ward. “It’s a huge part of the culture of this community it’s been here for over 150 years.”

Also a part of the equation is that Vinton’s City Kiwanis Park is also a part of the campus. The city leases it’s park space for a dollar at year.

According to the Board of Regents News Release: “With just 16 students on the Vinton campus in 2008 - down from 119 in 1972 - a more decentralized approach to educating blind and visually impaired students was necessary. Rebranded as Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired following the closure of the Vinton campus in 2011, the school provides services and resources in students’ hometown districts, rather than just in Vinton.”

“The city is in a better position to utilize these facilities than we are,” Nash said. “The transfer makes a lot of sense and benefits all involved.”

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