Wednesday night, the Erie School Board voted to approve the sale of its property formally known as the Burton School, which hasn’t been used by the district since 2012.
The transaction has been in the works for some time now and its potential buyer hopes to continue to utilize that building to enrich students.
The Erie School District has now given the green light on the possible sale of the Burton School to one local non-profit: the Erie Urban Development Corporation.
One spokesperson for the group, Gary Horton, has been working to provide afterschool enrichment for students. But the Erie School District Superintendent said that he’s been pressed for space to organize.
“We’ve been working with Mr. Horton and his organization on developing some after school programs for our new Americans. It’s been a very successful program for us. I know that he’s very tight on space where he’s at, so we’re happy to work together to transfer Burton over to him and his organization so that he can continue to expand those programs,” said Brian Polito, Superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools.
Polito said that Horton’s work in helping new Americans feel welcomed into the community has been crucial to their development.
Horton said that the acquisition of the burton school could act as a hub for community members around Buffalo Road and may help spark a revitalization in that region.
“We believe the schoolhouse will help drive the revitalization of buffalo road and give our kids on Buffalo Road in this area reasons to hope and aspire to travel a different route then what they experienced in this neighborhood, the symptoms of poverty,” said Gary Horton, Coordinator for the Eastside Grassroots Coalition.
School officials said that they were looking forward to moving on from the Burton School property and passing it over to someone that could put it to good use.
But Superintendent Polito said that the school will need some serious work done before it’s ready to open.
“I believe that our architects when they did the initial estimate many years ago, that the cost to renovate it and get it up to school standards was about $5 million,” Polito went on to say.