In June of 2004, the City of Fort Lauderdale purchased from the School Board of Broward County, the old abandoned and closed South Side School and surrounding 3.6 acres of land located within blocks of the Riverwalk and downtown judicial complex. The $4,600,000.00 plus purchase price did not reflect the true purchase price for the property. The School Board of Broward County had accepted a discounted price for this land, for which private developers were willing to pay a higher price to use this site for alternative development uses in the throws of up booming real estate market.
Broward County, a separate governmental organization contributed $2,000,000.00 toward the purchase price from a bond program that had been issued years earlier for purpose of acquiring open land for preservation for the public. Additionally, the local County Commissioner, John Rodstrom approved the application of discretionary funds of $350,000.00. The Florida Community Trust Grant Fund, through a State application and concerted effort of these multiple governmental entities, spear headed by the City of Fort Lauderdale, contributed in excess of $1,900,000.00. Lastly, the City of Fort Lauderdale, in an effort to preserve and spear head the preservation of its limited historical sites, contributed the balance of the purchase price. The City also committed to the obligation of restoring the building and developing the adjoining park land in conformity with covenants and restrictions of this multi-governmental effort to reopen this historical, educational site for members of the community for posterity.