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Morris Brown Alumni Slam Plan to Sell School Dorm in Stadium Deal

Photo Credit: candicelockhart via flickr

ATLANTA – Key alumni of bankrupt Morris Brown College lashed out Friday at plans to sell off the school as part of the stadium deal, even as it was revealed that the school’s desire to seek a buyer for the college may have been in the works for weeks.

Opponents claimed the Atlanta Falcons and the city’s involvement to help buy the Middleton Tower dormitory was a back-room deal exposed when Channel 2 Action News reported that the city would facilitate a sale to help relocate Friendship Baptist Church on the dormitory site.

Channel 2 released documents that the initial agreement between the Falcons, the city and Friendship included a land grab at Morris Brown College,” said state Sen. Vincent Fort.

Fort is a former history professor at the school.

“We think that (Falcons owner) Arthur Blank ought to back off. We believe the city of Atlanta ought to back off,” said Fort.

Friendship Baptist Church would be razed from its current location to make room for a new stadium south of the Georgia Dome. The south site is preferred by Mayor Kasim Reed and the Georgia World Congress Center.

Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland discovered in a recent bankruptcy filing that Morris Brown trustee chairman, Bishop Preston Williams, attested to an impending sale.

“MBC intends to sell the Twin Towers in order to obtain funding for a plan of reorganization,” states a document bearing Williams’ signature.

Sources with knowledge of Morris Brown’s bankruptcy told Strickland the college already has two offers for the towers and adjacent parking lots, each one for “substantially more” than $1 million.

The church’s agreement with the city for relocation states that if they buy for a price above that threshold, the Falcons must pay the difference.

Any overage is in addition to the $19.5 million the Falcons have pledged for the church property, in a deal negotiated by the city and trumped by Reed in a news conference Tuesday…

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