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Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A landmark school that provides job training for African Americans has been evicted from its building in North Philadelphia.

Founded in 1899, The Berean Institute is now experiencing hard times. The state Office of the General Counsel has painted a portrait of a deadbeat tenant and ordered administators to vacate the building at 19th and Girard by Friday.

“We could not allow the situation to go on any further.”

Troy Thompson is a spokesman for the State Department of General Services.

“Failure to pay for the rent. Failure to have proper utilities on the premises and subleasing. And failure to make lease payments in 2006.”

Thompson says another job trainer tenant, ABO Haven, has been given permission to stay. But company President Argo Simpkins wants to know what Berean did with their money.

“We were leasing space here. We paid Berean over 87 thousand dolalrs from last June to now.”

Simpkins says Berean President Dr. Lorraine Poole-Naranjo told her that that Institute owned the building. Poole-Naranjo did not return our call.

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