KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two more vacant Kansas City schools may have new owners, but there is still a long way to go until all are filled.
Pinkerton Elementary will go to Hogan Prepatory Academy, which will use the building as a middle school. Graceland Elementary will become the Brandmeyer Community Center, operated by the Upper Room organization.
Upper Room Executive Director Jerry McEvoy said the community center will be home to several programs for the surrounding neighborhoods. He hopes to open it next spring after $1 million in renovations.
"The neighbors wanted an identity, something that they could really rally around and say, 'This makes our neighborhood special.' And so we have 45,000 square feet of special," McEvoy said.
With Tuesday's purchase agreements, one third of the vacant schools in the Kansas City district have been spoken for. Organizations have only closed on two properties, but eight others are in the process.
The district's effort to repurpose the buildings started more than one-and-a-half years ago. Repurposing Director Shannon Jaax said she is pleased with the progress, even though 20 buildings still need a plan.
"I think we've got some really interesting potential," Jaax said. "Either agreements already negotiated or in process that I honestly didn't think we'd be there on those particular sites."
She said the school district has made $1.6 million so far on the two buildings that have been officially sold. Jaax could not give sales prices for the other eight until they are officially sold.
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