District set to sell Brownsville Middle School to near scrap yard

School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas has found a buyer for Brownsville Middle School, which has been closed since 2007. G.S.I. Brokerage, Inc., a sister corporation of a nearby scrap yard, has offered to buy the property for $475,000.

Five years ago, Rev. Lutimothy May and Friendship Missionary Baptist had tried to buy the school. The final asking price from the district was $1 million, but Rev. May and his advisors found the price steep considering the repairs necessary to make the facility serviceable.

G.S.I. Brokerage has the same principal address, 1831 N Hollywood Avenue, as G.S.I. Recycling, a scrap yard and shredder operation across the street from the old school. Area residents are suing G.S.I. Recycling.

Attorney Bob Kerrigan represents the neighborhoods. In March 2012, he informed the school board of the lawsuit he had filed asked the scrap yard, because Oakcrest Elementary School was also near the facility.

Kerrigan said his clients had complained about the noise and vibrations from the shredder, which emits what the conditional permit describes as “fugitive emissions.” Neighbors had said that there is at least one loud explosion a day from the facility as it crushes cars. Kerrigan said that homes and cars in the area are covered with dust from the scrap yard. According the court records, the lawsuits are still open.

During the March 2012 school board workshop, Superintendent Thomas said, “We’ve lost buyers (for Brownsville Middle School) because of the scrap yard. The shredder devalues it even more.”

Three years later, the superintendent is ready to sell the property to the scrap yard. His recommendation is on the agenda for tomorrow’s school board meeting.

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