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© 2023 Particle Media.
By Jessica Albert,
BALTIMORE -- There is controversy stirring in the Northwest Baltimore community of Grove Park over plans to tear down an old elementary school and possibly turn it into a nursing home.
The Baltimore City Council Ways and Means Committee voted to sell the property at its meeting on Thursday evening, but the sale is not yet finalized.
Frustrated Grove Park community members attended the meeting to urge city council members to reconsider selling the old Grove Park Elementary School building.
"I ask that you defer your decision and invite us to the table," a Grove Park resident known as Miguel said. "Let us be a part of the planning."
The school closed in 2018 due to under-enrollment.
Last year, the city selected a company named CommuniCare to purchase the property. CommuniCare intends to turn it into a 140-bed nursing home.
City council members took the next step toward selling the property on Thursday night by authorizing the sale—but the deal is not final yet.
The Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development still has to negotiate the sale with CommuniCare.
If the department and health care company can come to an agreement, then the sale will only be finalized if the city Board of Estimates approves of it.
A representative of the company spoke at the meeting.
"CommuniCare is very excited to come to the neighborhood," Caroline Hecker of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg said. "They think they're going to offer great services to the neighborhood."
Grove Park community members say they would rather see the building converted into a recreation center or a charter school. They say they'll continue to push to save the school.
"We're not finished," Grove Park Improvement Association Vice President Steve Ward said. " We're still going to fight and make sure what the community wants is respected and is provided."