Have you ever heard of a public school being built at no cost to the taxpayers? That�s exactly what happened in our nation�s capital, in a deal that may have some merit in Mississippi school districts affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Oyster Elementary School in Washington, DC, was housed in a 70-year-old building that was in general disrepair, didn�t have a gym or a cafeteria, and couldn�t be wired for internet. However, it did have extra land that wasn�t being used.At the instigation of a group of parents, the district agreed to trade that unused land to a private company in exchange for having that company build a new school in the same place as the old one.
The result is a brand-new, state-of-the-art school. The company then built an apartment complex on the land that was traded to them, and they are using the revenue from that complex to pay off the bonds that were issued to build the school.Some Mississippi school districts have land that will be attractive to developers, and this creative approach should be considered as a way to limit the rebuilding cost to taxpayers.
For more creative ideas for rebuilding, go to rebuildingmississippi.org.