THE Macedon Ranges Shire could begin its push to take over a disused Kyneton Primary School site, but is being urged to avoid dilapidated school buildings.
Councillors will decide whether to register with the state government to manage buildings or just surrounding grounds when they meet on Friday.
The state government wants to give away the 1.2 hectares of land on Baynton Street and is calling for expressions of interest in the school, which includes a building dating back to the 1850s.
The shire would turn four lots on the site into open public space and has previously said it would like to build a playground, gardens and other recreational spaces there.
Council officers have reiterated concerns about managing school buildings ahead of the meeting.
A 2019 state government inspection found significant repairs would be needed on both the original blue-stone building and multistory extension.
Anyone taking the buildings over would likely need to spend $3.68 million within three years to stop water damage, fix flooring and make the building accessible, the inspection found.
The southern building would need extra work, which was not included in that figure.
"Given building repair costs officers would recommend that council only submit an EOI on the vacant land - not the site with the former school building," staff said in a briefing ahead of Friday's meeting.
"This recommendation is in line with council not having any significant need for another site to locate staff or services at this point in time."
The shire would remain open to giving up its bid depending on the circumstances, officers stated in their briefing.
The council could withdraw its offer if the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning - which will assess each bid - find a group it would prefer to run the entire site.
Councillors could vote to withdrew the whole offer if that happened.
They could also decide to go into a partnership with it if support was needed and the council believed it was the right fit.
Anyone who takes over any of the five lots would need to maintain heritage trees and buildings and keep open spaces.
Some "complimentary" infrastructure could be added. The government wants indoor and outdoor space for community groups to gather and is encouraging "appropriate" commercial activities.
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