Tulsa Public Schools Receives More Bids For Closed Sites

Thursday, August 18th 2011, 9:11 pm

By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- There are more offers to buy abandoned Tulsa Public Schools buildings. The district says it's considering bids made on three properties.

7/6/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Weighs Bid For Closed Site

The district's Project Schoolhouse consolidation plan left more than a dozen buildings empty. TPS declared those properties as surplus a few months ago.

Living down the street from an empty school has its perks; the soccer field's always open. Still, Jay Eshelman said he doesn't want Barnard Elementary to stay closed much longer.

"Seeing how bad the grass and everything is getting in just a couple of months," Jay Eshelman/Barnard Neighbor:

Tulsa Public Schools received three offers to buy the school.

  • Midwest Land and Investment Company bid $1.2 million to open a skilled nursing facility.
  • R.S. Stewart LLC offered $1.4 million to turn the old school into a office and residential space.
  • Developer Anita Bryant bid $100,000 to turn it into loft apartments.

"I think the loft idea sounds pretty neat and I think it would probably attract the young professional crowd," Eshelman said.

Roosevelt Elementary is also up for sale. It also closed under Project Schoolhouse.

"There wasn't a lot of warning. It happened all of a sudden," Dorothy Turner, a neighbor, said.

So far, one bid has been placed on Roosevelt: about $250,000 from the Oklahoma School for the Visual and Performing Arts Foundation.

Oklahoma lawmakers established the statewide arts high school back in 2009. Administrators say Roosevelt is the perfect location and neighbors hope it happens.

"I think it would be great. I believe Tulsa is very artsy and supportive," Turner said.

The final property to get a bid: a field called Samuel Morse. Back in 1954, a neighbor gave the land to TPS for a new school. Those plans never materialized and it's remained empty ever since.

Now, the Sisler family wants to buy it back. They're offering around $17,000 for the land "as is," or about $25,000 if the district cleans it up first.

These are all just proposals, no action has been taken yet. Any sale of surplus TPS property would have to be approved by the school board.


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