By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Courtesy: Kansas City Public Schools
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A former Kansas City school building could get new life as a Walmart.
Neighbors attended a meeting Thursday evening to hear about the plan. The goal is to breathe new life into one of Kansas City's 30 now-vacant schools.
The old Bingham school near 77th Street and Wornall Road is the focus of the discussion. Officials were close to selling the site to the operators of the Hen House grocery store chain, but that deal fell through this past October.
During Thursday's meeting the public got a chance to weigh in on a new plan to transform the site into a Walmart Neighborhood Market. Those behind the effort to refurbish the school said it's vital to the entire neighborhood.
"Bingham has been closed since 2001 and one of the things we've learned from the community is that they're tired of this being a vacant building. It has attracted some vandalism. So we're really dedicated to finding a new use that benefits the neighborhood," Shannon Jaax with the Kansas City School District.
Supporters said it's long overdue to give the vacant school a new role.
Some residents are concerned about traffic that the store would bring to surrounding neighborhoods. The district said their focus is finding a use for the building that would benefit the neighborhood.
The meeting lasted two hours Thursday night.
Click here to keep up-to-date on the status of various schools and their repurposing.
A Facebook page has sprung up showing a group of people's extreme protest to having a Walmart move into the Waldo neighborhood.
"A Wal-mart Neighborhood Market wants to move to Waldo. They want to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They would sell groceries, have a pharmacy, and seek a liquor license. If you don't want this in your neighborhood, there are things you can do," the group's cover photo states.