The Wichita Board of Education has approved a contract to sell the former Price Elementary at 6123 E. 11th St. to a private developer for $500,000, potentially paving the way for future residential development in the area if the deal is finalized.
The school, built in 1956, changed to Blackbear Bosin Academy, an alternative middle school, in 2006. It has been vacant since 2011 and returned to the market in 2017 when a bid with Cook Construction fell through.
The former school sits on more than 6 acres.
“It’s a nice neighborhood, it’s obviously a nice piece of land and I think it can be put to good use. Obviously the group that bought it sees a lot of potential in it,” said Luke Newman, director of facilities at Wichita Public Schools. see what they will do”.
Action at this week’s regular board meeting advances a contract with Garvey Ventures LLC to purchase the property upon completion of certain due diligence steps.
A Garvey representative, Robert Taylor, said the next 90 days would include an inspection of the property to decide what to do with it and what the next steps are before the final purchase is made. While Taylor didn’t say what the plans are, the area is earmarked for single-family housing.
One person spoke during the school board’s public comment period on Monday, raising concerns about multi-family housing.
“Our concerns are that we have not received any information regarding what their proposal to build would be. We are concerned about multi-family housing in the area,” speaker Rick Neal said. “We are concerned that it could negatively affect our property values in the area and we really enjoy the solitude of the community where we live.”
The item was initially on the consensus agenda, but was pulled in response to a question from school board member Ernestine Krehbiel, who wanted to clarify that the property was zoned for single-family homes, not multi-units.
Superintendent Alicia Thompson said buyers seemed interested in single-family homes.
“This is what they have talked about and said they are interested in using [the property for]if they wanted to do more….single family homes, they would have to go to the city and have them redeveloped to be able to do that,” Thompson said. “As it stands today…it is for single family homes.”
Garvey Ventures LLC is prohibited from using the property as a K-12 school.