Property for sale? Pinellas explores the options
Pinellas School Board members heard a report from superintendent Julie Janssen this afternoon on the hot topic of what to do with the unused property it owns - including land under schools that have been, or that are about to be, closed.
Janssen provided a list of 32 properties as small as 1 acre and as large as 43 acres that are not being used, along with preliminary suggestions of what to do with those properties.
The 32 properties on the list total nearly 448 acres and reach from Safety Harbor to south St. Petersburg.
The 17-acre plot currently used by Coachman Fundamental, for example, possibly could be used as a bus compound. A 22-acre tract adjacent to McMullen Booth Elementary might become the site for a future middle school.
And the 15 acres upon which Riviera Middle School formerly stood likely will continue to be part of a long-term joint-use agreement with the city of St. Petersburg for an athletic complex.
But the district has no plans for properties that are the current sites of Clearview Avenue Elementary, Kings Highway Elementary, and North Ward Elementary. Those buildings likely will be demolished and the land will be sold.
Janssen cautioned board members that such sales might not come any time soon, and that it’s uncertain if the proceeds of the sales could be applied to the district’s operating budget deficit.
“We know that in a time of reduced revenue, people would say, ‘Sell some of your stuff,’ ” Janssen said. “That may very well be true, but I’m not sure this is the best environment in which to do that.”
- Donna Winchester, Pinellas education reporter