Walnut Park School boarded up after being terrorized by vandals - KMOV.com

Walnut Park School boarded up after being terrorized by vandals

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – St. Louis Public Schools has 30 vacant buildings across the city, some are simply in disrepair, others though are attracting a criminal element to the neighborhood. In Walnut Park, it took a desperate cry from the community for the district to take action.

“A majority of the vacant schools they have now aren’t boarded up and they’re just left open for vandals to come and to terrorize the building,” explained Alderman Chris Carter.

That’s the case for the former Walnut Park School in North St. Louis.

“They had stolen the pipes, there was water running everywhere, it was a bad situation,” said the alderman who has been fighting to get the boarded up since June.

The school closed for good in 2003 but this past June, vandals stole all the windows off the back of the building, leaving it wide open for trespassers.

“It was a one stop shop for criminals to get high or come and breakdown, sell their stolen merchandise,” said Carter.

Walker Gaffney, director of real estate for SLPS, says the reason it took some time was because the work had to be put out for bid.

The $5,065 project to board up Walnut Park School was completed this week to the excitement of neighbors.

“They got it boarded up and now it’s so much nicer,” said Lela Roberts who has lived behind the school for 25 years.

The school is one of dozens up for sale. But after months of vandals, there’s skepticism that the school will find new life.

“I hope it can become a positive job creating structure for Walnut Park,” said Carter.

For a list of schools for sale visit SLPS.org.

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