GARY, Ind. (AP) — A struggling northwest Indiana city is hoping to find
buyers for five vacant school buildings this month as it wrestles with a $19
million budget shortfall for 2012.
Gary Community School Corp. will open bids for the vacant buildings on
Thursday. It’s the latest batch of city schools to go on the block as
student enrollment has fallen from 16,000 in 2006 to about 10,000.
The district has closed about 18 schools in the last decade as more students
have migrated to charter schools, the Post-Tribune reported.
Previous buyers have included the National Civil Rights Museum led by former
Mayor Richard G. Hatcher, which bought Banneker Elementary for $50,000, and
Lew Management of Gary, which operates Eclipse Charter and Tours. That firm
spent $100,000 to acquire Beckman Middle School.
The school board has approved the sale of another middle school to the Boys
and Girls Club of Northwest Indiana, but attorney Tracy Coleman said the
deal has not been finalized. Buyers also have been lined up for two
elementary schools, with sales expected to close by the end of the year.
Coleman said the school board tries to make sure the purchasers are
legitimate entities and have the resources needed to revitalize the
“The board wants to make sure whoever buys it is equipped to renovate,”
Coleman said. “The board wants to make the best decision for the community.”
plans to demolish at least three other schools and sell the land.