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Buildings Could Net $9 Million, Schools Audit Says

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Among the waste and apparent willful incompetence documented in the city auditor's report on Richmond Public Schools is a recommendation that the school system plant a few "For Sale" signs on some of its most marketable properties.

At least one School Board member on a mission agrees with the proposal.

The school system operates two warehouses, both within the Boulevard corridor, at a total yearly cost of $300,000. Neither building, by City Auditor Umesh Dalal's accounting, is worth the trouble. But both are worth quite a bit more, he says -- $9 million more to be exact — if they're sold.

Carol A.O. Wolf, head of a one-woman School Board subcommittee seeking money to pay for federally mandated Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to more than 40 school buildings, sees giant dollar signs.

"I want us to unload those warehouses," she says. "That's $9 million. I want it, I need it."

That at least one of those warehouses, located on Arlington Road, is expendable seems certain. As recently as July it was the proposed site of a relocated School Board central office.

The warehouse was central to a proposal approved by the School Board that would have involved entering into a public-private partnership to convert the warehouse to office space. Mayor L. Douglas Wilder nixed the proposal, calling it too expensive.





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