TPS May Have Buyer For Old Chouteau Elementary Building
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Public Schools is a step closer to selling another of its empty school buildings.
Someone wants to buy the old Chouteau Elementary in West Tulsa.
The district has been selling off surplus buildings as it gets offers.
The Chouteau Elementary building was closed two years ago through consolidation, and now the John 3:16 mission has offered to buy it.
The mission hopes to turn it into a treatment and transition center for about 80 people.
The building is boarded up and empty and sits on 10 acres of land with plenty of open space around it.
There are large fields on three sides and undeveloped wooded property on the other.
That's part of why it was so attractive to the mission's Rev. Steve Whitaker.
"It's going to need a little work, but it's suitable, and one of the things that's unique about the property is that it's pretty remote," Whitaker said.
TPS has the property listed for $1,030,000.
The Mission has made an offer on it, which they would not disclose, and it's being considered by TPS.
Before the school board votes on the offer, the district will meet with people in area.
Rev. Whitaker said the plan is for a residential treatment center for about 80 people, helping them transition out of homelessness, but it won't be a traditional "shelter" site like the one downtown.
"We have no ambition to shelter on this site at all," Whitaker said. "Sometimes when people think of John 3:16 they think of sheltering and that only, but this is a recovery program only for us on that site."
Whitaker said the building's classrooms would be perfect for the education and work-training programs.
The mission has the money to buy it and to make the modifications so people could live in it short-term as they take final steps live on their own again, he said.
It would give John 3:16 the ability to include homeless women in their recovery program for the first time.
"The sad story for Tulsa is that there are not enough beds for the kind of work we do for women," Whitaker said. "There's a dearth of residential beds for women, and our goal is to create a wing there for homeless women."
The school district plans to have a neighborhood meeting to discuss the possible sale. It's being planned for July 11, likely at the old school.