Lakeshore News Tonight

Gary Schools Wants To Sell Off Vacant Buildings

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A bill signed by Governor Mike Pence allows Indiana school corporations to sell unused buildings in a more timely fashion.   Lakeshore reporter Denise Turner talked with a Gary Community Schools spokesperson about how this new bill affects school districts around the state….

Gary Community School Corporation owns nearly twenty-five unused school buildings. Communication Specialist Charmella Greer says the sooner there are buyers … the better.

Charmella Greer: We just want to sell our buildings.

A bill signed by Governor Pence on April 1st permits Gary Schools to put buildings on the market sooner. House Bill 1012 allows Indiana school districts to sell unused buildings after making them available for charter schools for two years, with the option to reduce time to one month by filing a waiver. The old law required them to be available for four years.

Greer: If it’s going to benefit us, yes, and I think, it’s going to benefit us because it will help us sell our buildings. Instead of 4 years, we just have to do them in two.

Denise Turner: The Gary Community School Corporation is thrilled about this new bill, they say once they sell the buildings are sold they can use the revenue toward education.

Greer: We do want to sell our school buildings; we have to maintain the buildings while we have them. So it would be a wonderful idea for us to be able to sell the buildings.

Charter schools will have thirty days to contact the Department of Education with intent to buy if school corporations submit a waiver.

Greer: Certainly, we would welcome it, we have steps in place and we welcome people to contact us so we can sell our buildings.

Pence hopes this new bill will reduce some of the financial stress building on school corporations across the state.  In Gary, Denise Turner, Lakeshore News.


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