David Duncan School was purchased by Steel City Academy

Gary Community School Corporation has a buyer for 2 unused school buildings

Contributed By: The 411 News

Steel City Academy purchases Lincoln Achievement Center and Duncan School

Gary – The Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) has solidified an agreement to sell the adjacent properties of the former Lincoln Achievement Center (1988 Polk St.) and former David O. Duncan Elementary School (1109 W. 21st Ave.) to Steel City Academy for $250,000 was announced today in a statement from GCSC.

Most recently used as the administrative offices for the district, Lincoln has been closed since 2019, and Duncan since 2012.

District officials began weighing its options when Steel City Academy first inquired about the purchase in 2022. Although the district has been hesitant to sell closed school buildings to charter organizations in the past, GCSC manager Dr. Mike Raisor noted the substantial benefits the sale would bring to both parties and to the community at large.

“Arriving at a decision to sell Lincoln and Duncan took time and consideration because we always want to do what’s best for students and for the school community we serve,” said Raisor. “Ultimately, we all have the same goal - to serve the children of Gary. This sale also allows us to support Mayor Melton’s goal of reducing the number of abandoned structures in the city.”

Raisor went on to note that a State statute requires public school corporations to sell closed school properties for $1, but GCSC is currently exempt due to the district's status as a distressed unit. While Steel City could have waited until July 1st to make an offer on the building, their team opted to pay fair market value out of respect for the district and its rich history.

“These funds will allow for improvements to our ten open schools and create the potential opportunity to demolish another closed structure,” shared Raisor. "There will also be a cost savings with the District no longer bearing the expenses for utilities, security and other upkeep of the buildings."

Closed school buildings have also been targeted for arson, break-ins, squatters and other illegal activity.

Steel City Academy plans to open the new facility in the latter part of 2025 or early 2026. Meanwhile, the District remains committed to selling, demolishing, or repurposing the other six closed buildings it currently owns to continue its community improvement efforts.

Story Posted:05/06/2024

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