OPT's project for 2017 was to elevate the profile of the Orlando Landmarked Grand Avenue school. With it's closure this past school year and no confirmation from OCPS of its fate OPT's board became concerned. Even through visits, correspondence and meetings with vested parties nothing was forthcoming. The non-historic structures were demolished again with no word from OCPS of their intent for the site. City Commissioner Sam Ings had expressed his concern and wishes to see the historic structure saved and adapted to a facility serving the surrounding community.
It was communicated this week from the City of Orlando and announced December 7th that the City of Orlando will take possession of the site including the historic school building via a land swap with the OCPS. The goal is to create a center for after-school programs, Parramore Kids Zone youth center and pottery program. Additionally a gymnasium with be constructed. The facility will continue its 90 plus year tradition as a central gathering place for the area.
A detailed article by Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeff Weiner can be found at this link https://tinyurl.com/y7l5bkkj
The move by the City of Orlando to take ownership of this site is a demonstration of creative solutions in providing needed social services and protecting the city's cultural historic resources. Kudos to Mayor Buddy Dyer and his staff for taking the lead.