More than half of the stored art, about 35 paintings, was once housed at Woodrow Wilson Middle School on Cottman Avenue, said Erin Davis, who works in the district's financial services division. Davis said a number of appraisal firms estimated the collection would bring in $600,000 to $900,000.
SRC member Joseph Dworetzky, after asking several questions of Davis, said the sale of the art, which he said was a piece of district history, "just doesn't feel right."
"It's an asset of a different character, and this $600,000 to $900,000 is not going to solve our problems," Dworetzky said.
In 2004, a group of men, authorized by the district, then headed by Paul Vallas, removed 72 pieces from the Northeast Philadelphia school, former teacher Marilyn Krupnick said last night.
Krupnick, a longtime advocate of the school's paintings, said she was caught off guard by the SRC's vote. "I'm in shock, because I never thought they wouldn't sell the art. I thought that all that mattered here was money and Mr. Dworetzky did it," Krupnick said.
Former Wilson Middle School principal Arlene Holtz was also flummoxed by the decision. "Oh, my God, I'm so relieved. It was a treasure. . . . To be able to restore it to the school or a place where the kids can see it again, it's fabulous. It's a win. Art matters."
Also at the meeting:
* All four members present - chairman Pedro Ramos was absent due to a family matter - voted to authorize $200,000 over one year for the district to retain outside real-estate appraisal firms to value the district's surplus property. Earlier in the day, City Council unanimously passed a bill that gives Mayor Nutter authority to give the district $50 million in exchange for its surplus property.
* All four members voted to not renew two charter schools: Truebright Science Academy Charter School and Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School.
* The commissioners also voted to accept the long-awaited $45 million that Gov. Corbett released Wednesday.
On Twitter: @ReginaMedina