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Education

Duval Schools Building Could Be Leased For $1 Per Month To EWC

edward_waters_5.jpg
Lindsey Kilbride
/
WJCT News

 

If the Duval County School Board approves a contract with Edward Waters College, the school would lease one of the district's building for $1 per month, with the option to buy it for $10.

Some Board members are concerned that asking price is too low.

 

Board member Paula Wright said Edward Waters is an important Duval Schools partner, but she added the price should be fair. She’s asking why the $10 purchase price was chosen.

“We’re talking about a partnership, so it’s not always about dollars and cents,” she said. “But when we’re utilizing taxpayer dollars, we’ve got to take the extra step to make certain we’re not setting a precedent for others to walk through the same door.”

The vacant building used to be the James Weldon Johnson Academic and Career Training Center, a school for kids who are behind in grade level with the Bridge to Success overage program. The board is moving that program to another school, which was decided when a series of boundary changes were approved.

Edward Waters has already been using part of the building for classes. A proposed contract says the college could continue using it for that purpose only, but not turn it into a charter, private, public or laboratory school. That provision would be tied to the land, no matter who owns it.

Vitti said the contract is win-win because although the building is valued at $2.2 million, it’s old and the district would no longer be liable for maintenance costs. He also said it’s for the greater good of the community to give Edward Waters more resources.

Wright asked for more information before she votes, like what have other districts in similar situations done? And what was the process like getting to that dollar number?