News 4 investigates condition of former Lincoln High School

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by Craig Cheatham / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 18 at 6:14 PM

EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- For a century, Lincoln High School has inspired generations of East St. Louisans. But last week a News 4 investigation exposed it for what it is today: A public disgrace.

The abandoned school is still owned by the East St. Louis School District, which has been under state control for the last year.

News 4 showed the vulgar gang graffiti that’s been on the outside of the abandoned building, and revealed how people have damaged property and repeatedly set fires on the inside.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Clossen is concerned about the physical danger of the building to members of the community.

“It’s frustrating to know that they don’t care about the building. There could be people hurt or killed here. Not just firefighters, but people in the community,” he said.

Following the initial investigation, School District Superintendent Art Culver promised the building would be secured.

Wednesday, News 4 returned to Lincoln High School to see how the school district secured the building.

What we found was district officials did make an attempt, but it was unsuccessful.

They tried to put up wood over some of the openings, but as they predicted, some of the folks in the community just ripped it off.

Early Wednesday morning, firefighters responded to another fire inside the vacant school.

A few pieces of wood put up over busted out windows were never going to fix this problem. It’s simply too big. The door we used to walk into the empty building is still wide open.

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