TPS considering the sale of the former Roosevelt Elementary building

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 4/23/2013 8:44 am Published: 4/22/2013 6:31 pm

The Tulsa school board signed a letter of intent to sell the former Roosevelt Elementary building to the Oklahoma School for the Visual and Performing Arts Foundation.

The district wanted $2.8 million dollars for the building. The school board approved the sale Monday evening, meaning high school junior and seniors across Oklahoma would have a unique opportunity to learn and grow through art.

Artists come to the Brady Arts district downtown to express themselves. At the Tulsa Glassblowing School, Kenneth Gonzales has been creating art out of glass for 12 years.

"This is unpredictable and it's changing every minute of every second and it forces your creativity and your skills to come together,” he says.

He’s worried though about the effect of education cuts.

"A lot of your schools are getting rid of art programs which I think is a really big mistake,” says Gonzales.

That’s why he’s excited to hear about plans to convert the old Roosevelt Elementary building into a high school focusing on the visual and performing arts.

"Art is so hands on and it engages the brain in such a different way that a lot of kids may not respond to sitting in a desk,” says Gonzales.

And the way it looks right now, this is not just sitting either.

"They've got some fundraising to do but the neighborhood there is very responsive and very hopeful that this is going to come to pass,” says TPS spokesman, Chris Payne.

The school will enroll about 200 of the state’s most artistically-gifted high school and seniors. The foundation had submitted a bid for the Roosevelt property back in 2011 for more than $250,000, but that bid was rejected.

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