The South Bend Community School Corp. is in negotiations to sell its six-story headquarters to the city of South Bend for $2.8 million. Administrators say the building, which was purchased in 2004, has more space than the district needs.
“If this building is not being used at full capacity, the financially responsible decision is to sell it and move to a more suitable space so we can put more money into classrooms and focus on academic gain,” said Superintendent Todd Cummings.
On Monday, the SBCSC Board of School Trustees approved a resolution of intent to sell the building. The resolution will be followed by an application to the Indiana Attorney General for approval of certification of the sale.
If the certification is approved, South Bend schools and the city could then move forward to approve resolutions authorizing the sale.
Once approved, city offices would move from the County-City Building to the newly acquired building. The school corporation’s administrative staff would move into the Brown Community Learning Center on the city’s northwest side.
“This potential move would streamline operations and costs for our schools, while also consolidating city offices spread across multiple locations,” said Mayor James Mueller.
The move comes as the school district faces a shrinking enrollment and a reduction in state funding. According to the South Bend Tribune, enrollment has dropped 16.5% since 2013.
“The need to right-size the district was one of the primary goals we had with the passage of the referendum. We will continue to evaluate and assess the entire corporation with that in mind, and promote cost-savings wherever possible,” said Kareemah Fowler, chief financial officer for South Bend Community School Corp.
The district has closed or repurposed seven school buildings since 2018.