Chicken-Fried News: Stark structures 

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Everyone knows empty buildings are bad. Abandoned warehouses, shopping centers and houses have been the subject of countless horror stories and are known as sites where nothing good happens, especially after midnight.

They often attract vandals and partiers and are seen as eyesores that are detrimental to neighborhoods.

The City of Oklahoma City hopes entrepreneurs will instead see the potential for development in some of Oklahoma City Public Schools’ (OKCPS) recently closed buildings.

News9.com recently reported that Page Woodson High School stood empty for 20 years, but it’s getting a new life as an apartment building, and the Oklahoma City Housing Authority is talking with developers and Oklahoma City Public Schools about five other vacant locations.

“We’ve been involved in talking with developers and other providers about ramping up affordable housing production,” said Ian Colgan, OKC Housing Authority assistant executive director.

City officials believe the chance of the schools being redeveloped is higher if OKCPS simply gives the buildings to developers for free instead of selling them, News9.com reported.

As an example, officials cited Dunbar Elementary, which has sat vacant since it was sold in 2015.

In 2016, NewsOK.com reported that Dunbar was purchased by Ward Hall, who said he planned to convert it into senior housing but hasn’t made any moves to do so.

“Residents are calling my office complaining about the school district’s property,” Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis, Jr. told NewsOK.com in 2016. “They want something positive to be done.”

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