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Gary School Corp. seeks new owner for Roosevelt

(photo courtesy of NWI Times)

GARY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Gary Community School Corp. is seeking new ownership for the historic Roosevelt High School. The district says it plans to revitalize and re-purpose the 90-year-old landmark with an interested owner.

By issuing a Request for Interest, the district says it is looking for a philanthropic organization, cultural institution or other group that is interested in revitalizing the building. The building is a part of the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and historic significance.

The building was closed in 2019 and remains in need of millions of dollars in repairs not covered by insurance. The school building was recently named to Indiana Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list and featured earlier this month in our Endangered Indiana series.

“Roosevelt means a great deal to the Gary community and its alumni,” said Eric Parish of Gary Schools Recovery, which manages the GCSC. “We are eager to find an entity that can offer a viable plan that clearly preserves the school’s extraordinary legacy. We welcome expressions of interest from experienced developers, architects, community stakeholders, and interested parties who can offer potential inventive uses for this landmark.”

The district is asking respondents to submit “concepts that bring the property into productive use in ways that preserve the historic building; serve the immediate neighborhood and broader Gary community; support economic activity in the region; and create a compelling asset with the potential to remain appealing and sustainable well into the future.”

The district says the school was first built to educate Black students in an era of forced segregation. Roosevelt served generations of Gary students and families as an integral part of the community.