Pastor Tim Smith remains hopeful that the former Gladstone Middle School will be used to help the Greater Hazelwood community, and possibly his Center of Life nonprofit.
In July, it was announced in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article that the Urban Redevelopment Authority was seeking to buy Gladstone, which has been closed since 2001, and several other schools from the Pittsburgh School District. No plans have been announced since this time.
In an interview, Tim Smith, whose Center of Life program sits across from Gladstone, expressed interest in having the site serve the expanding needs of his program, and other programs in the Greater Hazelwood community.
But nothing is guaranteed right now.
To date, no one has bought the property, which is still listed for sale at a price tag of $250,000. That is a low price for a building that sits on 6.6 acres.
But the building may not be able to be saved. In an interview with Greater Hazelwood Matters staff, city planner Ray Gastil said different issues with the building, including potential asbestos contamination, may mean it has to be torn down.
Additionally, there are other people interested in the building, which will sit about a mile away from new development at the Almono site. During a visit to the URA, Greater Hazelwood Matters staff learned that another buyer is interested in turning the building into housing.
When the school was closed, however, Smith said the community lost a big resource.
Many programs were held in the former middle school. These include programs from different organizations like the YMCA.
Smith, who started Center of Life after the school closed, held a father son basketball program in Gladstone.
After the school closed, one of his students was shot in the back and killed.
As stated, it remains to be seen how the Gladstone site will be redeveloped.