3 finalists in sale of N. Phila. school

Posted: February 12, 2014

THREE FINALISTS have emerged as buyers in the sale of a North Philadelphia school, including two private-school developers, officials said.

William H. Harrison Elementary, on Thompson Street near 10th, was among six schools closed by the School District of Philadelphia in June 2012. The district issued a request for qualifications in November for seven properties including Harrison, and closed a second round of offers Feb. 3.

Harrison got five offers initially, but just three in the second round, chief operating officer Fran Burns told residents last night at an informational meeting at Dunbar Elementary School, on 12th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philadelphia.

Burns said all three proposals would keep the building as a school. Two would make it a private school. The third potential buyer does not yet have an agreement with a school.

"They are from Philadelphia [and] have done development in the Philadelphia area," director of property management Bill Fox said of the potential buyers.

As they have done throughout the process, district officials would not disclose the potential buyers or their offers.

Burns said an evaluation committee has met with the finalists and hopes to reach an agreement of sale and finalize an offer in the next few weeks so that the committee can make a recommendation by a March 20 meeting of the School Reform Commission, which must approve each sale.

District officials said they would like to close the sales on all seven properties by June 30. The chances of that may be slim, however, if previous sales are any indication. The sale of the old West Philadelphia High School has yet to close, even though it was approved in December 2012.


On Twitter: @ChroniclesofSol

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