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After years of fighting, Atlanta to transfer school properties to APS

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The move gives the system more latitude when it comes to reopening schools or selling off properties

A three-story classical brick building, with windows boarded up.
The long-vacant Adair Park School will see new life, thanks to the transfer of the property between the city and the school board.
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At long last, the Atlanta City Council has voted to turn over school buildings and properties across the city to Atlanta Public Schools.

The measure caps years of fighting between the two public entities over the control of prime pieces of real estate.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the move marks the fulfillment of a campaign promise made by Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms. Following her signature on the measure, 31 properties will transfer to the school system.

Among the properties are active school buildings, as well as surplus properties which could potentially be returned to educational uses.

One key property to be transferred is the old Adair Park School, paving the way for its adaptive reuse as residences for artists.

Back in the 1970s, the City of Atlanta spun off control of the schools in question to Atlanta Public Schools—but kept the property on which many schools stand. The arrangement resulted in an unfavorable arrangement for APS, as they sought to modify properties and sell off unused facilities.

The news comes two years after the city worked out a deal (and threats of a lawsuit) with the school system regarding funding and the Beltline.

While the transfer of 31 properties marks a major step forward, 21 remain in limbo as details are worked out. The mayor has noted the process to address the remaining school properties will take time as they are thoroughly reviewed.