We can do better than a parking lot for that temporary hospital: Jonathan Butcher and Dan Lips

Posted on: April 13, 2020

Pew Center research finds that urban districts around the country have a surplus of empty buildings. As of 2013, Detroit had 124 school properties on the market (at least 29 buildings are closed today), Cleveland and Kansas City had 26, and Chicago had 24. Philadelphia closed some 30 schools between 2010 and 2015, and reports indicate some of these sites remain empty.

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma’s largest school district, one-third of all instructional space is currently unused. The Tucson, Arizona, school district has closed 20 schools over the last decade. Some of these buildings are now being held for “future use” or have no development planned.

In Arizona, lawmakers have adopted proposals that try to expedite district efforts to sell or lease school district facilities. In South Carolina, lawmakers already give charter schools the chance to bid on vacant district properties. State lawmakers should move quickly to revise ideas such as these and put empty school buildings to use immediately for medical needs.

To read the rest of this column in the Washington Times, please click here.

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