St. Louis Public Schools tries to shed vacant buildings | Education

On Wednesday morning, about a dozen potential buyers were waiting for Clark Elementary on North Union Avenue. Another geometry lesson was written in chalk on a blackboard in a classroom. In some places, maple floors still shimmered after about a century of careful growth.

Tyler Graham Stephens with Core10 Architecture stood on the stairs, waiting to go inside.

Location is key, he said. And the Clark School is near Forest Park. If more of these schools were in the central part of town, they would sell faster, Stephens said.

“I can’t remember any that are anywhere near where development is happening,” added Stephens. “Most are on the north side of the city, where developers are less confident about investing money. Or even in the far south … if you want them available for charter schools or nonprofits, they have to be cheaper. “

Cleveland, for example, is listed at $ 2.4 million.

In 2009 the district lifted the deed restriction prohibiting the sale of its buildings to charter schools. The Gardenville School was sold to the Gateway Science Academy in 2011. The KIPP Charter School Network can use two of its buildings free of charge. District officials are also working on a building order with another future charter school.

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