The Blaine County School District wants to enter into a joint venture with a private entity to build and operate teacher housing in Ketchum on property the district owns across the street from Hemingway STEAM School.
The district expects to issue a request for proposals some time in summer, said Heather Crocker, the district’s communications director.
The district has not determined how many units a teacher housing complex would include, she said.
Affordable housing is limited in Ketchum, a resort city near Sun Valley. The district has determined that 20 of its 260 certified staff (teachers, counselors, librarians, administrators) and an unspecified number of the 270 non-certified staff live outside Blaine County. Some live as far as Fairfield, Shoshone and Twin Falls, distances of 52, 55 and 82 miles, respectively, from Ketchum.
The tight housing supply makes it difficult to recruit teachers to the Wood River Valley, Crocker said.
The school district needs to enter into a joint venture because it is not allowed to sell the property without permission of Congress. The property, acquired under a land patent in 1926, must be used for school purposes. In a joint venture, the school district would continue to own the land put private operators would develop, own and manage the teacher housing complex, Crocker said.
The property is now being used as a bicycling track in an agreement with the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department.