One of three schools that closed in 2017 as part of a major consolidation plan in west Tulsa could soon be up for grabs.
The Tulsa school board will vote on whether to declare Park Elementary School as surplus property at its next meeting on Aug. 5. If approved, the vacant building can be offered for public sale.
Tulsa Public Schools would then begin advertising the Park property, which is located at 3205 W. 39th St., and seeking proposals from the public, said Chris Hudgins, the district’s executive director of bond and energy management.
“We’ll be taking a look at those proposals to see if there’s any interest in purchasing that (property) from the public and then acting on that,” Hudgins said.
State law requires that surplus properties first be offered for public bid, but school districts are free to accept or reject those bids and then enter into negotiations for private sale.
Park has been empty since the elementary’s closure two years ago, when the school board approved consolidating a group of west Tulsa schools in response to a shrinking budget and declining enrollment.
The other two closed schools — Remington Elementary and ECDC-Porter — have found other uses to keep them off the surplus list. The TPS Campus Police is utilizing a portion of the Remington building, while KIPP Tulsa University Prep High School temporarily is moving into the vacant Porter building.
Hudgins said Park is being considered for surplus after an undisclosed faith-based organization expressed interest in buying the building. Although TPS plans to appraise the property to determine its value, he estimates it’s worth $400,000 to $500,000.
Religious organizations appear to be the most common purchasers of vacant school buildings in Tulsa. For instance, John 3:16 Mission bought the old Chouteau building in 2014 to convert the former elementary into a home for women and men in recovery.
But that’s not always the case. A local businessman bought Pershing Elementary, which first closed about four decades ago, in 2013 and transformed the northwest Tulsa building into apartments. That same year, developers acquired the Barnard Elementary property in midtown with the intention of constructing residential homes after the school burned down.
Park Elementary would be the third school currently on the district’s surplus list. The other two — Addams and Sandburg — were shuttered as part of the Project Schoolhouse efficiency initiative in 2011.
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