As schools close across the country a trend is developing to find new uses for these buildings. The school buildings are being sold and finding a variety of new uses. As of June 2013 the Detroit public school district has made $16 million either by selling or leasing closed school buildings or vacant land. One of the purchasers converted a 100 year old school building into a movie theater, Cass City Cinema which is now called Cinema Detroit showing indie films. Other Detroit schools buildings have been turned into lofts, a music school and a recording studio.
In Kansas City a school is being repurposed as affordable senior housing. A school in Portland was bought and turned into a hotel. Chicago has closed nearly 50 schools and is having a harder time finding buyers. They have sold 8 building for approximately $8.3 million in total. They have received interest for turning a school into a community center, affordable senior housing or market rate housing.
When a new high school was built in Ypsilanti, Michigan the former historic 3-story Ypsilanti High School was sold and successfully developed into senior housing units.
The Michigan Historic Preservation Network has “A Community Guide to Repurposing Vacant and Underutilized Historic Buildings”.
Amy Freundl of Reinhart Commercial has an elementary school building in Munith listed for sale which could be developed into a vocational training center, multi-family or senior housing. See Listing info.
Source: Huffington Post
Source: Chicago Tribune