Kansas City (Mo.) district seeks uses for vacant schools

April 6, 2010
Public meetings seek ideas about repurposing 38 closed school campuses

The Kansas City (Mo.) school district has begun holding public meetings on "repurposing" 38 closed school buildings, but officials say the district faces several obstacles as it tries to decide the fate of the empty facilities: State law won’t allow the school board to easily follow community preferences on sales and leases; the buildings are owned by a third party — the School District of Kansas City, Mo., Building Corp., which limits the board’s flexibility; longstanding rivalries between the district and charter and private schools complicate any potential agreements; and an ailing economy may limit the number of interested buyers or tenants.

SEPTEMBER 2010.....from The Kansas City Star: With more than 30 empty Kansas City (Mo.) School District sites in need of a new use, teh suggestions posed to the school board have been numerous: hydroponic, vertical farms; community centers; light industrial complexes fueled by sustainable green resources; sports complexes with soccer fields and ball diamonds; public swimming pools in neighborhoods long bereft of those amenities. The ideas will be landing at the feet of the school district’s “re-purposer,” a person to be hired by the board to engage the communities around the schools in planning the future of the properties.

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