Pinellas makes last attempt to save two charter schools
Days after Pinellas County school district officials sullenly announced they could not negotiate an agreement to acquire two troubled charter schools, a conversation between the schools' landlord and the district's deputy superintendent carried on via email.
Joe Rauenhorst of Charter School Properties, Inc., the owner of the property at 5175 45th St N in St. Petersburg where Windsor Preparatory Academy and East Windsor Middle Academy are located, sent an email Friday to Bill Corbett. In that email, Rauenhorst complimented the district's professionalism and said he was "flexible" with his $11.5 million sale price for the property as well as open to performing any needed modifications.
While on vacation, Corbett responded on Monday with the district's highest offer to buy the property for $3.5 million.
"It seems we are far too apart to continue," Corbett wrote. "If that is not the case, please respond to this email and I will go into town tomorrow to call you."
Rauenhorst replied by saying that he had drafted an email that he will send Tuesday. District spokeswoman Lisa Wolf said no emails received by Corbett from Rauenhorst appear in the system as of noon.
The district had plans to turn the schools, which were issued 90-day termination notices in May, into a Kindergarten through eighth grade "project-based learning lab environment" magnet school. Officials hurried to prepare the school by the day teachers prepare for the start of the new school year on Aug. 1.