MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Public School Board of Directors voted last night to sell the Malcolm X building for $2.1 million dollars to a developer, then they will lease it back for a million dollars a year. It’s a deal that has a lot of people shaking their heads.
“That leaves out a critically important part of the equation of the amount of money the developer is going to put into the building,” said Milwaukee Public School’s Denise Callaway.
MPS officials argue it’s better off for taxpayers in the long run to sell it to the developer 2760 Holdings, LLC and then pay rent, rather than to sell it to another school.
“Here’s where taxpayers come out ahead, the cost of the building that the developers will pay the district is $2.1 million dollars, plus we’ll be able to put students into that building now which will bring additional revenue into the district, of about $5.7 million dollars,” Callaway said.
That math doesn’t add up for common council member Bob Donovan. The council will have to agree to the sale since the city owns the building.
“It sounds like a bunch of garbage,” Donovan said. He argues it would be better to sell the building to the private school, St. Marcus Lutheran School.
“It’s plainly an attempt to block one of the highest performing schools in the city that frankly where I think we’re a threat because our kids do so well. They are afraid of the competition,” said St. Marcus Superintendent, Henry Tyson.
MPS has offered St. Marcus three other open buildings, but Tyson says those aren’t real options.
“We are going to keep pushing this issue. The common council has to make their decision,” Tyson said.