At its regular meeting on Dec. 13, 2020, the Idaho Conference board of directors approved the sale of about 24 acres of Gem State Adventist Academy land in Caldwell, Idaho, to the Vallivue School District. The property is off Montana Avenue, north of the GSAA Campus and east of Vallivue Middle School.
The Vallivue School District approached the conference about purchasing this land for a proposed elementary school. The request was processed by the GSAA land use committee, and the sale recommended to the conference board. The sale price will raise about $1.1 million (final figures are dependent on a land survey to determine exact acreage). After closing costs and reimbursing the conference for funds advanced to prepare the farmland for sale, net proceeds are expected to exceed $900,000.
The conference has been discussing transferring the GSAA land asset to an endowment asset for 15 years. The 2015 Constituency Session body voted to change the primary focus to seeking enhanced revenue producing options for the GSAA property, rather than the sale of the property, with the understanding that peripheral property could be sold if it was in the best interest of the organization. The land use committee and the board of directors believe this is an appropriate sale of peripheral land. The conference is in a better position to sell through negotiation rather than risking the school district initiating eminent domain proceedings.
According to David Prest Jr., placing the proceeds of any land sale in the GSAA endowment was authorized by the 2007 Constituency Session and reaffirmed by the 2015 Constituency Session.
The land use policy voted in 2007 states, “The purpose of the General Endowment fund is to provide perpetual support for the benefit of GSA to ensure the financial strength and stability of GSA in perpetuity.” To this end, the funds will be placed in the Endowment Fund and used exclusively and permanently for GSAA. As Prest reported at the 2019 session, the conference now has a comprehensive investment policy that would direct the investments should funds become available for an endowment.
According to John Soulé, GSAA principal, the income from the endowment may initially be used to assist students in attending GSAA who otherwise would not have the funds needed to enroll.
We are thankful to God for blessing in this sale, which will provide much-needed funds for GSAA students. Income from the endowment will initially provide approximately $40,000 per year to GSAA. Additional information is available on the conference website IdahoAdventist.org.
For clarification or questions, contact John Rogers, Idaho Conference vice president for finance, at 208-841-1254.