OKC Hopes To Spark Development At Abandoned Schools

Tuesday, June 27th 2017, 8:02 pm
By: Karl Torp

The city has taken two abandoned schools off the district’s hands in hopes of sparking new development.

The two schools are Creston Hills at Miramar and NE 18th and Marcus Garvey at NE 24th and Prospect.

“What we would like to see happen to them is that they are re-purposed in some way that helps support the neighborhoods they are located in,” says The Alliance for Economic Development President Cathy O’Connor.

The inspiration for Creston and Garvey can been found inside the more than 100-year-old walls of Page Woodson.

The old school at Stonewall and NE 8th has been transformed into 128 affordable housing units after sitting abandoned for decades. Tenants will start moving into the old school building soon.

Some apartments have original chalkboards, fireplaces and even the gymnasium floor. The developer bought Page Woodson at auction from the school district. The city feels it can offer better pricing with its two new school properties.

“Getting them for free is really pretty important to have the project being successful in the end,” says O’Connor

Creston and Garvey already have something going for them: age.

“The good thing is that both are old enough that they would qualify for historic tax credits,” O’Connor said.

City Council still has to sign off on the plan to transfer control of the properties.

OCPS now has four abandoned facilities under its control including its administration offices at 900 N Klein. This week OCPS is moving out of the administration building into another location on Classen Blvd.