Remember that this was a deal put together to avoid selling the school to a successful private school that wanted to expand to provide an excellent education to mostly minority children. MPS’ school board is continuing to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into an empty building to prevent minority kids from getting an education.
Less than a year after shunning a cash offer from a private school operator for the empty Malcolm X Academy building, MPS is cutting ties with the developer it commissioned to renovate the site — but not before paying between $500,000 and $1 million for work done so far.
The split marks the end of a public-private partnership championed by former Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton as “probably the best deal in town” for taxpayers just 11 months ago. The district now says it will proceed independently and hire a new construction manager for the building and sprawling 5-acre parcel at 2760 N. 1st St.
The latest twist was set in motion by a new agreement the Milwaukee School Board approved after meeting in closed session.
At the moment, the district and the developer — 2760 Holdings LLC, formed by Dennis Klein of KBS Construction and James Phelps of JCP Construction — disagree on how much it will cost to settle up on the work done so far. The developers want close to $1 million; MPS says it has determined the cost of the work done to be just under $500,000. The parties are meeting Tuesday to discuss the situation.