Birmingham Schools in Negotiations to Sell Administration Building

Superintendent David Larson said moving out of the building is part of the district's effort to reduce its physical footprint and generate revenue.

Administrators with the Birmingham Public School district may be looking for a new home soon, as the district is negotiating to sell its at 550 W. Merrill St.

Superintendent David Larson made the announcement at the Tuesday night meeting of the Birmingham Board of Education. He said negotations are under way and that the district could close on the deal in 12 months.

The deal involves a significant, nonrefundable option to purchase the buiding, he said.

Moving out of the building — where district administrators have worked for the past dozen or so years — is part of the district's effort to reduce its physical footprint as well as bring in extra revenue, Larson said. 

"Many of you know that we have been on a journey to sell non-school facilities," Larson said. "We've been trying to optimize our space in and around the district."

The district owns four non-school facilities: the administration building, the , the Meadow Lake school — a former elementary school on Inkster Road currently being leased to the French School of Detroit — and the district's busing facilities on Cole Street.

District spokeswoman Marcia Wilkinson said that other than , the district hasn't made any moves to sell its other properties this year.

Efforts to sell the administration building, however, have been under way for several years now. Board President Susan Hill noted that the building has been under contract in the past, but those deals ultimately fell through. In September 2009, the district received offers of $2.5 million and $1.8 million for the building.

Debbie Piesz, assistant superintendent for business services, said that if the building is sold, administrators would move to space available in other buildings owned by district, including potential space in three school buildings. The district doesn't have any plans to purchase new properties, Piesz said.

Wilkinson said the district isn't disclosing any details of the plan, including the offer amount on the building, while negotiations are pending. The issue will come back before the school board before the sale is finalized.


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