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January 05, 2009


Kyle Rohde

Great idea Brent - one I don't see on here that I always notice is right on the east side of Hwy. 71 at 39t Street - I believe its an old school but am not sure. The city would surely benefit from these old buildings finding new use.


Has the city somehow taken over the school buildings? Don't they belong to the KCMSD?

On the other hand, if the city can sell property they don't own for $1000, that's a real win/win. Maybe they could sell the Brooklyn Bridge, too . . .


By the way, I intended that to be more humorous than obnoxious . . .



The one last one pictured, at 39th and Garfield, is the one you mentioned at 39th and 71 Highway.

Dan, at least a few of the Library buildings would fall under KCMO's rule - and maybe the city could incentivize the school district to sell? I'm not sure what the answer is as the city would benefit more than the school district from their sale. But leaving these buildings to just rot doesn't benefit anyone, that's for certain.

It's bad enough that the school district is an educational problem...we certainly don't need them to be a blight problem as well.


39th and US 71 is Horrace Mann school and is now owned by Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, slated for senior apartments. The KCSD won't sell for $1000 because their bonds are tied to the value of their real estate. Plus, they only make sweetheart deals to their business friends...

Eric Rogers

Great post. I totally agree that abandoned schools a big un-discussed blight in many neighborhoods. But I don't understand how it's the city's fault. The city has no control over the school district.

The only thing the city could do is use eminent domain to seize these properties from the school district - and that would be a fight like no other we have seen here. Fortunately there is some good news, the school district has put many of these buildings up for sale. Hopefully they will start finding new uses in the next few years.


a very similar project w/ an old school is here http://www.covecreek.net/


This is a great article! It would even be nicer if the KCSD didn't put deed restictions on the buildings saying that if someone buys it, that it CANNOT house a charter school, considering the buildings were built with public monies for the purpose of educating our children.

It would be great if you could look into that.

KC Sponge

If they are owned by the city, why not rent the space to small businesses that can not afford real estate as a start up cost. The refurb costs can be considered investment into the property that can be converted once the business wants, or is at a point considering, to seek ownership.
Something. Develop the economy. Erase blight. C'mon, someone in charge of these buildings has to be coming up with something, right?

AJ Vanderhorst

Great article! I just drove by the Switzer School this morning, and was looking for info online. According to Block Realtors, it was up for auction last November. Any idea what happened there? The West Side (where we're hoping to move) could use a tenant/renovator in there.

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