Pittsburgh School District Spent $23M on Now-Closed Buildings

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, February 25, 2013

The former Pittsburgh Reizenstein Middle School was once so crowded that large closets had to be turned into classrooms and some students were housed in an annex.

Now the Shadyside school, which was opened in 1975, is being torn down to make way for an expanded Bakery Square, purchased for $5.4 million -- enough to cover the outstanding debt but less than the $6.27 million the district had spent on it since 2007.

The school symbolizes the millions of dollars expended on schools no longer open as Pittsburgh Public Schools has struggled to decide which schools to keep open or reopen, which to close and which to renovate in the face of declining enrollment, increased charter school choices and deficit budgets.

Since 2004, the district has spent more than $23 million on capital improvements in 20 buildings that no longer house students.

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