Landmarks Association of St. Louis

More St. Louis City School Closures Appear to be on the Horizon

| by Andrew B. Weil, Researcher

Adams stated that some of the money needed for the current budget could come from the sale of closed school buildings, a prospect that has the potential for either good or bad preservation outcomes.  While some of the schools that are currently closed are good candidates for redevelopment, others are located in areas with lackluster preservation protections and low reinvestment potential.  According to the article, Adams also frighteningly stated that "the District will almost certainly have to close more schools next summer."  How long can these rounds of closures haunt our city neighborhoods?  As always, the threat of closure has a terrifying effect on surrounding communities, and can have negative effects on nearby redevelopment efforts.  Nobody wants to live next to an abandoned school building, or invest in adjacent property.  Finally, the ominous references to future closings have a negative impact on enrollment as parents attempt to protect their children from the disruptive impacts of having to switch from school to school.  As such, through these warnings, the District creates a negative feedback loop wherein they insist they need to close schools because of declining enrollment, and in so doing, they cause enrollment to decline further.  Stay tuned, the school issue will unfortunately continue to be a perennial preservation battle.  LINK TO STL. Post Dispatch.