Key Coverage

The Struggle To Breathe Life Back Into Empty Schools

Empty buildings are difficult to secure, they can attract crime, and they fall apart quickly. So St. Louis Public Schools rounded up a group of volunteer architects, contractors and community health experts to pitch developers and lure investors into doing something with these places. And because this all boils down to real estate, the first thing to do was throw a bunch of open houses at schools like Eliot Elementary, another stately historic school. It’s more than 100 years old and classic St. Louis with an impressive stature, deep red brick and thick, wrought iron. It probably sounds like a steal at $260,000, but it’s also what you might call an ultimate fixer-upper.