RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An ongoing dispute between the Richmond School Board and the city over the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center has led the board to put the city on notice of the possible legal options it can pursue.

The crux of the disagreement is over control of the Arthur Ashe Center, which is set to be demolished and replaced as part of the city’s Diamond District project, and ultimately where the proceeds will go.

The school board contends that the Arthur Ashe Center doesn’t belong to the city but is instead school property because the district has used it as an athletic facility and been responsible for its maintenance, and money that comes from its disposition should go towards its budget to build new schools and help improve existing buildings.

Property records show that the city owns the center, a 6,000-seat facility named after Richmond-born tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr., on N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. In a letter to the school board’s attorney in May, city attorney Haskell Brown wrote that Richmond “may dispose of the Center without the involvement of or any payment to the School Board.”

On Monday, the school board agreed to ask Richmond attorney Thomas Wolf to serve notice to the city on the board’s legal options moving forward. The decision was made after the school board chair, Dr. Shonda Harris-Muhammed, indicated that the city’s position had not changed.

The options include seeking declaratory relief in Richmond Circuit Court, having a third-party act as a mediator in talks between the board and the city or a potential lawsuit, Fourth District School Board member Jonathan Young told 8News on Wednesday.

In a phone interview, Young called the possibility of litigation “rather unattractive” and that he believes that taxpayers don’t want to see different governing bodies in the city fight it out in court. While he said he believes mediation is the best path forward, he acknowledged that the city not budging in its stance could make the process more difficult and gives him “pause.”

Dr. Harris-Muhammed had asked Wolf, an attorney with the firm Miles & Stockbridge, to share a legal analysis with the city attorney and Richmond City Council in response to Brown’s letter from May.

Wolf said his four-page response to city officials laid out city code detailing how Brown was “wrong” and that laws require Richmond to give the proceeds to the school district for its capital improvement budget.

In an update to the school board Monday, Wolf said he never received a response from the city attorney’s office or councilmembers.

“I believe that the legal issues should be fairly clear, and their resolution should be clear as well. It is not my intention to steer the school board to something confrontational with the city,” Wolf said during the Nov. 21 school board meeting.

“It’s my tax dollars and everyone’s tax dollars that is paying for all this, and everyone wants, I think, the same outcome, which is to benefit the children of the city.”

School Board Chair Harris-Muhammed told Wolf and the rest of the board that City Council President Cynthia Newbille indicated that the city’s position hadn’t changed after the analysis was reviewed.

Newbille, Wolf and the city attorney, Haskell Brown, did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Wolf, the husband of former Richmond School Board member Carol Wolf, was asked to help the board after its existing attorney said her firm had a conflict of interest and recused herself. He suggested that the board instruct him to discuss the legal issues with the city attorney.

Board member Jonathan Young proposed having Wolf send another letter to city officials outlining the school board’s available legal options, a path the board approved. Harris-Muhammed did not answer a call or return a message from 8News seeking comment.