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TPS holds final forum to discuss sale of former Barnard Elementary property

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 10/04/2013 11:49 am Published: 10/03/2013 8:10 pm

Five proposals have been submitted for the former Barnard Elementary property to Tulsa Public Schools.

Fire destroyed the building in September of last year and the building was demolished.

Joan Thurman has lived in the historical Gillette neighborhood since 2002.
When fire broke out at the former Barnard elementary building early in the morning back in September, the damage was so great the building had to be removed.

Like countless other neighbors, she was concerned about what would be done with the property.

"Charm is something that's becoming very elusive these days, and there's a lot of charm in that part of Tulsa," says Thurman.

She says she feels emotionally attached to this area.

"There is no where you can't get to in a hop, skip and a jump to shopping, parks, entertainment and I just want to stay there until they carry me out with my toes up," says Thurman.

A former proposal by a developer was strongly rejected by the neighborhood and its association.

Many people like Joan had issues with a business being built on the property.

"We know that at one time there was going to be a nursing home facility going to be planned there, and we went to the last general meeting like this and voiced our opinion," says David Tempas.

TPS received five proposals ranging from $421,000 to more than a million dollars.
After reviewing those bids, the district decided to pursue Lindsay Development's offer.
The company wants to build 18 single family residential lots and promises to keep the historical feel and presence.

Thursday evening, TPS held a forum so the neighbors could weigh in.

"I'm willing to listen to whoever has a good plan for the property and will keep the essential charm of the area," says Thurman.

The Tulsa Public School Board hopes to make a decision on the sale by the end of this month.

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