No Plans for Empty Elmhurst High School

By Rachel Martin

September 26, 2011 Updated Sep 26, 2011 at 6:22 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The Fort Wayne Community School (FWCS) District said there are no plans to re-open Elmhurst High School.

It’s been a little over a year now, and Elmhurst High School is still empty.

President Obama proposed giving schools across the county millions of dollars in federal funding. Indiana’s NewsCenter asked Public Information Officer for FWCS, Krista Stockman, if the district would consider re-opening Elmhurst and using federal money to renovate.

“We have no intentions to re-open it,” Stockman said. “If we get money from the Federal Government for buildings, we have 50 other buildings that are in desperate need of being fixed, so we would not focus resources towards a building that we have no intention of using.”

Stockman said other schools in the district have access to the furniture and supplies that remain in the school. At some point, possibly later this year, they will auction everything that is left over.

There are no plans to demolish the building either. In fact, FWCS is willing to sell Elmhurst, and Pleasant Center Elementary School, for a reasonable amount. Stockman said there are no listing prices, but FWCS will take the best offer. So far there have been a couple of offers, but nothing has resulted. The district is also open to renting out the building to businesses and organizations. In the past, Vera Bradley used the building for a photo shoot, and the Fort Wayne Police Department used it for training. Like buying, there is no set price for renting the school. Rental costs vary depending on the day and season, and there is a process of paperwork and staffing that must take place.

Currently the district is doing the bare minimum to maintain the building. The building cost “significantly less” than it did when it was open. Currently the district pays $150,000 in utilities a year to keep the heat on, and an additional $100 a month for security. During the 2009 calendar year, when Elmhurst was still open, FWCS paid $319,000 in utilities.

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