Education

Catholic group looking to buy vacant Wichita school

Plans call for the Wichita school board to sell the former Michener Elementary School to Catholic Charities. Most recently, the school was used as a law enforcement training center.
Plans call for the Wichita school board to sell the former Michener Elementary School to Catholic Charities. Most recently, the school was used as a law enforcement training center. File photo

Update: The Wichita school board voted 6-0 on Dec. 10 to approve the sale of the former Michener school to Catholic Charities. Board member Sheril Logan was absent.

Wichita school board members will consider a proposal Monday to sell the former Michener Elementary School to Catholic Charities, which plans to operate an adult day care facility at the site.

Catholic Charities would pay $326,000 for the property and would agree to preserve a playground for neighborhood use, according to the proposed contract.

The vacant school, near 37th St. North and Meridian, was the site of the Wichita-Sedgwick County law enforcement training center before the program moved to a new building at Wichita State University this year.

The Catholic organization plans to use the property for its Adult Day Services program, spokeswoman Heather Welch said. The program provides supervision, nursing services, activities and educational programs for seniors and adults with disabilities.

She would not offer specifics about when the proposed site would open or how many people it would serve.

The contract is contingent on a zoning change that would allow Catholic Charities to operate an adult day care. The property is currently zoned for single-family residential use.

“So far there has been no opposition from the board or anybody,” Welch said. “It’s gone very smoothly.”

The former Michener School, 2235 W. 37th St. North, was built in 1958 and operated as an elementary school until 1983. The following year, the city began leasing the building for the law enforcement and fire training academy.

The school is about 240,000 square feet and sits on about 5 1/2 acres, according to a property listing by J.P. Weigand & Sons, the district’s broker.

It’s one of several vacant buildings the Wichita district has put up for sale in recent years, as officials sought to unload surplus property that had become a drain on the budget.

The board sold the former Metro-Meridian Alternative High School at Maple and Meridian for $275,000; about 17 acres of land adjacent to Jackson Elementary School, 29th Street North and Woodlawn, for $750,000; the former Metro-Boulevard Alternative High, 751 S. George Washington Blvd., for $201,000; and the former Metro-Midtown Alternative High, 640 N. Emporia, for $225,000.

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