DOUGLAS — The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134 on Wednesday bought the former Drake Elementary School building for $1.5 million to house its new union hall.
On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education approved selling the school at 2722 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., appraised at $800,000, to the union, which is planning to move from its home at 600 W. Washington Blvd.
“This is a great opportunity for Local IBEW to partner with the Bronzeville community, and we look forward to a long and rewarding relationship,” said Don Finn, business manager for the union.
As early as November, the union was eyeing the former school, which Finn said at the time was a “perfect fit” for the union compared to other sites being considered along the Eisenhower Expressway.
The union is also planning to move its credit union to Bronzeville and plans to partner with neighboring Dunbar Vocational High School, 3000 S. King Drive, on electrical programs that would guarantee graduates a job upon completion.
According to CPS officials in November, the union was the first to approach CPS about buying the building, but on Wednesday the Board of Education said it received five bids and the union's was the highest, coming in at more than $700,000 more than the appraised value of the property.
“Every additional dollar we bring into the district is crucial during these challenging financial times, and this sale will allow us to ensure the transformation of an important site while bringing in revenue far beyond the appraised value of the property,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.
The building is the eighth sold by CPS since the district decided in 2013 to sell off more of its properties.
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