The Columbus City Schools Board of Education agreed last week to rent a closed building to an organization that exposes youth to practical use of business skills.

The Columbus City Schools Board of Education agreed last week to rent a closed building to an organization that exposes youth to practical use of business skills.

At its Nov. 18 meeting, the board approved a 20-year lease of Second Avenue Elementary to Junior Achievement of Central Ohio, currently located in Hilliard.

"We are excited about it on a number of levels," said superintendent Gene Harris. "One, it allows that building to be used in the community and secondly it's a program our students will be able to take full advantage of."

Junior Achievement works to teach students fiscal and entrepreneurship skills. Among the programs that will move to the district will be "Biztown," a program designed to teach students how a business operates, and "Finance Park," a program that teaches middle and high school students about budgeting, taxes and the proper use of checkbooks.

The organization will rent the facility for about $62,000 a year starting in April 2010. The rent will increase by 10 percent every five years after Jan. 1, 2014.

Junior Achievement will be responsible for the maintenance of the building starting Jan. 1, 2009.

Additionally, district students will be able to attend Junior Achievement programs for free, in exchange for a rent credit of $15 per student.

Roger Kisiel, president of central Ohio branch of the organization, said his group has planned $2.5-million in capital improvements for the site.

"This is more than a building to us," Kisiel said. "It is a true partnership between (Junior Achievement) and Columbus City Schools, because we honestly believe that we can make the most impact in our program in the next 10 years by focusing on the Columbus City Schools.

"We want to build a whole new generation of entrepreneurs," he said.

In other business, the district ended a dispute over the value of a downtown tower, and the amount of taxes the district would collect from the building's owners.

The district agreed to resolve an appeal before the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals concerning the valuation of Huntington Center Office Tower, Doubletree Hotel and Huntington Parking Garage, located at 41 S. High St. and 50 S. Front St., respectively.

District counsel Larry Braverman said the settlement was a reasonable compromise.

"You are weighing risks and costs and trying to figure out what makes sense," Braverman said. "There is always a risk if you litigate you could lose."

The settlement will result in a revenue reduction of about $2.5-million for 2004-07.