The newest would-be owners of Academy Square delayed closing on the property Thursday because a key person was unavailable.

"I didn't want to close without our architect being there," said Mary Gay Hatch, vice president of Community Service Foundation.Architect Dan Losee is a volunteer for the Academy Square renovation proposal. Hatch said the seller of the property, Kerri Heinz, agreed to postpone the closing until all key people could be present.

Although a firm date has not been set for the closing, Hatch said it is likely by the end of next week.

"We can meet the payment," said Hatch of the $70,000 closing costs. The purchase price is $800,000 with a payment schedule that will allow the new owners to pay off the debt in two years.

"We want the money (raised) to go to the buildings," Hatch said, "and not to interest."

The total cost for renovation of all buildings on Academy Square will be $20 million. The foundation is seeking tax-deductable donations worldwide.

The National Historical Society lists Academy Square high on its priority list. Hatch said it was first on the list until very recently. She said it is still the first priority west of the Mississippi.

"We've got to move forward and we need everyone behind us to do it," Hatch said.