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Sacramento Spending $5M To Turn Blighted School Into Arts Center

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Derek Shore Derek Shore
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The future of a shuttered school neighbors complained had become a blight is much more clear, but not everyone is so excited.

The plan is to turn the the Fremont School for Adults on N Street into a place for art. The school has been shut down since 2012, and the 90-year-old building has become a homeless haven.

“One of our first goals is to turn this area into a performance garden,” said Richard Rich with the Performing Arts Operating company. “It’s really an opportunity to turn this facility and this neighborhood around.”

 A vote by the Sacramento City Council means the school is slated to turn into an arts center.

“We want to make it not just serviceable, but we want to make it fantastic,” he said.

The Midtown block that hasn’t been so fantastic after the school closed will soon house the Sacramento Ballet, and the Sacramento Opera and Philharmonic.

The City Council voted to spend $5 million to lease and rehab the building, but not everyone is so excited.

Ray Tatar owns a performing arts center just two blocks away from the shuttered school. He has dozens of tenants including artists and theater companies.

“It might put me out of a business,” he said. “I hope they do really well, but I hope they don’t come over here and take my tenants, because we have a good group over here.”

It’s something Rich says he understands, but sees differently.

“It turns out that in the past few hundred years, businesses have tended to aggregate, and it’s been beneficial to all of them,” he said.

The $5 million will come from city rent payments it gets from a building the city owns, along with other arts allocated funds. It’s expected to be open next fall.

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