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The Scoop

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File / The Journal Gazette

FWCS: Talks about vacant school began in 2010

Statement issued Monday by Fort Wayne Community Schools regarding the Pleasant Center property:

When the Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees on Dec. 12 approved transferring the Pleasant Center property to the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, it culminated more than a year’s worth of work between the two entities. Representatives of the Airport Authority and FWCS first met Nov. 30, 2010, to discuss transferring the property, which is within the airport’s master plan and along the Bluffton economic development corridor.

Throughout 2011, the Airport Authority and FWCS met several times to discuss issues, including conducting an environmental study. By September, the studies were complete and both sides were ready to draft an agreement to transfer the property from FWCS to the Airport Authority. That agreement was drafted and ready for final discussion by Nov. 1. Two weeks later, FWCS received notice from the Indiana Department of Education that there was interest from a charter school in the property – the first such notification FWCS had received since the building was vacated 18 months earlier.

As FWCS already had an agreement with the Airport Authority, the two entities continued to move forward with transferring the property as allowed under Indiana law, IC 36-1-11-8.

“Pleasant Center closed in June 2010, and the Airport Authority was the first entity to show serious interest in the building,” Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. “We are following state law by transferring the property to another government entity that has a use for the land that will benefit the community. This demonstrates the partnership between FWCS, the Airport Authority and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance to support economic development, and the conversations the partners began long before the state even adopted the law allowing charter schools to take possession of vacant school buildings.”

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