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Police Calm Dispute over Abandoned School

Margaret May (L) confers with Captain Mark Terman (R) in front of Horace Mann School.
photo by Dan Verbeck
Margaret May (L) confers with Captain Mark Terman (R) in front of Horace Mann School.

By Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo – It takes a reasoned approach by Kansas City police to calm a confrontation between rival developers intent on rehabilitation of the adandoned Horace Mann school at 39th street and Euclid.

The more than hundred year old school will eventually be turned into seniors' housing. Executive director of the owners, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, Margaret May, says she was alarmed to find private developers going inside to check conditions. In her words:
in order to get in the building we would require that they indemnify us because we have insurance on the building and we need to make sure we're protected. They weren't going to indemnify us because' that was silly'. So we called police ".
Principal of Prairie Dog Developers LLC, Ken Bacchus, was determined to get inside:
..They need to know what is and isn't salvageable" . Bacchus group is favored by the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority. But Ivanoe Council owns the building.
Once insurance liability was settled, private developers' engineers did get inside to assess conditions. But the bigger issue of redevelopment.. who will do it.. is unresolved.

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