CMS Puts Closing Schools Up For Rent
12:00 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

CMS Puts Closing Schools Up For Rent

CMS has decided to lease - rather than sell or demolish - the buildings of nine schools slated for closure next year. CMS director of facilities Dennis LaCaria says the real estate market is not favorable for selling the schools and state law restricts how the district can use the proceeds. Instead, CMS will begin taking lease proposals this Friday.

LaCaria says the district has not set any parameters on the value or length of the leases.

"The cost to operate and maintain the buildings would absolutely have to be covered," notes LaCaria. "I don't necessarily think - especially in this down market - that we're looking at some sort of windfall from these leases. The number one thing overall is that the buildings still continue to serve the community."

LaCaria says the district will give priority to proposals that put the schools to educational use, for example as a day care or after school program.

If the buildings remain vacant, LaCaria says they'll still require security, pest control, lawn care and other maintenance that will drag on the CMS budget.

The buildings expected to be available for lease are Davdison IB, Wilson Middle, Midwood High, Pawtuckett Elementary, Smith Language Academy and Amay James Pre-K.

If the CMS Board of Education decides to reduce funding for the Bright Beginnings program, three other schools will also be available for lease: Double Oaks Pre-K, Plaza Road Pre-K and Tryon Hills Pre-K.

CMS will hold two meetings this week for organizations interested in leasing a school building:

Tuesday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m. in Room 280 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

Thursday, March 3 at 5:30 p.m. in Room CH-14 of the Government Center.

Beginning March 4, the online application will be available here: http://www.cms.k12.departments/construction/facilityplanning/Pages/VacantSchoolSitesForLease

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