Districts Decide Future of Vacant Schools

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

To district officials, a schoolhouse isn't just where learning takes place, but another asset to put on the market.

"We have to liquify our assets, So that we get additional revenue to cut our deficit," said Lansing School Board member Guillermo Lopez.

Lansing School District hopes to put up Woodcreek Elementary School for sale ---as soon as possible.

" We'd like to have sold it yesterday, but that's impossible," said Lopez.

The district plans to save money from reducing personnel, fewer utility and maintenance costs, and the sale of the property.

"We have sold school buildings for $120,000 to $220,000. It just depends on where it is at and what the market will bear at that location," said Lopez.

But other elementary schools closing won't have the same fate. Officials of smaller districts like Charlotte and Waverly say they are exploring other ways their elementary buildings can be used.

"Perhaps a church or youth organization would want to use it. We would consider leasing it to pay for maintenance and utility fees only," said Dr. Debra Jones, the superintendent of Waverly School District.

The superintendent says those maintenance costs are minimal and Waverly's district may need the space in the near future.

"Should the school system in an elementary range k-4 enlarge by 50 students, we may have to open it back up," said Dr. Jones.

Educators say their decisions are based on a balance of cost-savings and serving the students.

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