Mobile Home Park Residents Must Relocate For TPS Elementary Expansion
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Public Schools is in the process of purchasing the King Street Mobile Home Park and using the land to expand McKinley Elementary School.
TPS said the expansion has to happen to improve students’ safety, but, in order for that to happen, the 20 families living in the park have to find a new place to call home.
Jack Ashby and his wife have lived at the King Street Mobile Home Park for more than seven years.
"We had planned to just live our lives out here. A lot of us are on fixed incomes, social security, disability, and we have a good deal here financially, and we can walk to anything we wanna get," he said.
But that way of life is changing.
By May 31st, every person who lives at the park will have to move out in order for McKinley to expand.
Ashby said, "It's finally sinking in and we have to be resolved to do the best we can with a bad situation."
Although the safety of the students has to improve, Chris Hudgins with TPS said it wasn’t an easy call to make.
"The kids have to go out in the snow or the rain every day just to go to the library; it’s an inconvenience as well as all the safety issues," he said. “We know it's a bad situation, we feel really bad for the families that are involved and we just want to make this as easy of a transition as possible."
To do that, TPS is offering incentives to everyone who moves out before June 1st - $2,500 in moving expenses to people moving their trailers with them, and $1,000 to owners or renters abandoning their trailers when they move.
Hudgins said, "They are working within their confines, or the district rules and regulations and laws, and I think they are going to do all they can, it is just probably not going to be enough.”
"I understand that the school has to expand, but, and these things happen, but we do feel somewhat displaced," Ashby said.
TPS officials said the expansion project will be finished in July of 2018.