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The former Iron House School on Neroly Road in Oakley, Calif., is set to be torn down and a child care facility built in its place. (Courtesy of Kevin Romick)
CORRECTION (Published 6/14/2013)

A story about Oakley City Council's decision to dismantle the old Iron House School included incorrect information from a source. The schoolhouse was built in 1896.

OAKLEY -- A child care center will be going up and a one-time historic school house will be coming down on former city property.

The Oakley City Council on Tuesday accepted a $700,000 bid on a Neroly Road parcel, where the buyer plans to build a day care center. The council also agreed to have the old Iron House School torn down so the developer of that property can grade the site.

Seeker Development, a Southern California construction company that specializes in child care centers, submitted the lone bid on a parcel just north of Diamond Hills Sports Club and Spa.

According to the proposal the council approved, the company will buy 1.1 acres in return for which the city will contribute $925,000 in developer fees. These so-called child care impact fees are intended to offset the effect of building more homes by paying for the cost of establishing child care facilities.

Although the specifics have yet to be formalized, the money in this case likely will cover the cost of designing the structure, having the city sign off on those plans, and obtaining a conditional use as well as a building permit.

The $2.3 million project will consist of a 10,000-square-foot facility that will accommodate about 180 children from very young infants to 6-year-olds. In addition, the facility will have an approximately 12,000-square-foot outdoor play area.

Construction must start within one year of closing escrow on the property.

Councilman Randy Pope voiced his satisfaction with this sign that the economy is improving, noting that proceeds from the sale amount to $14.58 per square foot, more than twice the $6.30 per square foot that the city paid for the parcel.

In another action, the council decided that the single-family home that once was Iron House School no longer has enough historic value to justify the money it would take to move it. Built in 1896 and used as a school for nearly four decades, the structure now is on what used to be the Emerson Dairy north of Cypress Road, where a residential developer intends to build.

The house, which renters occupied until a few months ago, underwent remodeling decades ago that left it bearing little resemblance to the wooden structure that used to have a wraparound veranda and a higher, more distinctive roof. Until recently, it also had a bell tower.

"Just because it's old doesn't mean it's valuable," Mayor Kevin Romick said.

Rather than take a wrecking ball to the house, however, he recommended that it be taken apart methodically with members of the East Contra Costa County and Contra Costa County historical societies on hand in case some artifacts hidden within are worth salvaging.

Pope agreed, noting that while his parents were remodeling their home, they discovered some century-old newspapers.

Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.