Lacreitia Jamison, Northeast Oklahoma City
Context: Jamison, who has a young son, said abandoned schools are a stain on her neighborhood. Jamison said the boarded-up structures contribute to drug activity and other crimes in her area. She referred to the recent discovery of a murdered man in nearby Phillips Park, a few blocks from an abandoned school, as an example of how crime and blight go hand in hand.
Tierney Tinnin, Oklahoma City Public Schools Spokeswoman
Context: Tinnin said it’s in the community’s and district’s best interest to quickly sell vacant properties. The district still has to pay insurance, keep up with maintenance and provide security to vacant buildings. Selling vacant schools is a challenge because it’s difficult to find a use for the building and demolition is expensive. The abandoned buildings, which do not generate tax revenue until they are sold, also hurt residential property values.
A Deeper Look:
There are currently five vacant schools in Oklahoma City despite attempts to revitalize or demolish them. Some were abandoned recently, but others have been vacant for decades. The old Page Woodson High School building has been empty for 21 years – long enough to build a reputation for being haunted. Demolition of John Marshall High School to clear space for new apartments started this year. Touch the pins for the names of the schools and the years they closed.
Source: Oklahoma City Public Schools