ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - St. Louis Alderman Chris Carter says it’s painful to see the damage done to the school his parents attended. Approximately 40 windows are missing from the former Walnut Park School on Thekla Avenue.
The 27th ward alderman says thefts have come over time, and says there’s even more damage on the inside. He believes the vandalism is happening in the dark of night. The building no longer has electricity and Carter says that means there are no lights.
“All of the copper is gone. The air conditioners are broken down. There’s not much more they can take, but they can do a lot more vandalism and that’s something that we are trying to stop,” said Carter.
He’s concerned the damage will ruin the school district’s chances for selling the property to a developer. Carter hopes the district does more to protect the property. He’s also asking neighbors to leave on as many lights as possible and wants them to call police if they see anyone suspicious around the school.
“We are trying to do great things in our community,” said Carter. He says a developer has expressed interest in the property in the past.
The building is one of several properties the St. Louis Public Schools hopes to sell. In some cases the properties have sold. Arlington School, located on Burd Avenue in north St. Louis, was sold and turned into loft apartments.
The St. Louis Public Schools offered the following statement:
Vandalism at a school is a crime against the entire community. These school buildings are taxpayer assets and anything done to diminish the resale value of the building is akin to stealing from the community.
Saint Louis Public Schools is actively working with community architects, building planners, preservationists, real estate developers and representatives from the fields of finance, education, construction and health care to re-purpose closed school buildings through the Building Revitalization Collaborative.
For more information on the Building Revitalization Collaborative.