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OKC Public Schools Reverts Back to Old Ways?

Friday's OKC Central Live Chat including breaking the story of a significant set-back for reviving the still struggling Classen-10-Penn neighborhood.

Four years ago I did an expose on the track record of Oklahoma City Public Schools in disposing closed school buildings. Their track record was one of blighting the neighborhoods they are tasked with serving.

In the following months the school district changed course and worked with The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City and Urban Renewal (both led by Cathy O'Connor) to go with a process that sought out buyers who would commit to redevelop the schools instead of squatting on them as had happened with sales overseen by the school district.

The brightest prospect in this new approach was redevelopment of the former Roosevelt school at 900 N Klein, last home to the Oklahoma City Public School administration. The team was solid. They have the  experience and resources.  And we likely would have seen construction starting later this year.

Enjoy looking at the renderings and plans assembled by Caparthia. Thanks to the school district acting in what some would say is bad faith (not the first such time this is alleged with the current administration), this deal is dead. And the ramifications of such decisions may haunt this city for years to come.

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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›