USD 259 officials are asking board members to approve putting several of its vacant schools up for sale.">

Some Schools May Go Up For Sale

By: Rachel Phillips
By: Rachel Phillips

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Schools On The Selling Block

Monday, June 13, 2005

Customers are calling, ready to buy old vacant school buildings.

“We believe we have some interested parties on some of the vacant properties we frankly have no intended use for,” says Martin Libhart, USD 259 chief operating officer.

USD 259 has several schools it’s currently not using. Three of them are leased to other not-for-profit organizations like Trees For Life and a local church. Officials say those buildings won’t be sold and the district says it also won’t be selling Longfellow or Carter Schools since they are used as back-up locations for students, like during the Marshall Middle School explosion last winter. In the past, school buildings have brought around $100,000. But in some cases, it’s not the buildings that are attracting buyers.

Some of the properties the buildings sit on are valuable, while the buildings themselves aren’t.

It costs the district several thousand dollars a year to maintain the buildings, plus several hundred dollars a month in utilities. Officials say the district isn’t selling the buildings, because of the state’s school funding crisis, but of course any extra money right now would help the district’s budget.

The district approved South Hillside, Funston and Riverview to be sold. Other schools that could be sold include Booth, Kellogg, McCormick and Price.

USD 259 says some of the schools have even had interested buyers calling on a weekly basis.

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