Trustee: Sell schools to prevent vandalism

PONTIAC, Mich. — Closed school buildings have attracted vandals and burglars in Pontiac School District, leading one school board trustee to call for selling the vacant schools, The Oakland Press reported.

The district has filed more than 47 insurance claims related to the incidents, the report said. Operations manager John Parker told school board members at a recent meeting that boarding the windows and welding the doors have not stopped the vandalism, The Press reported. Some buildings do not have working alarms, Parker said, The Press reported.

One person pleaded guilty to taking copper valued at nearly $95,000 from a closed school, according to the report, and two residents reported that vandals damaged display cases and memorabilia at now-closed Pontiac Central High School. The district has closed eight schools as enrollment dropped from 12,000 a decade ago to today's 6,000 students, The Press reported.

Damon Dorkins, a school trustee and Pontiac police officer, said the board should proceed with selling the schools, according to The Press.

The Oakland Press, "Board members express frustration at Pontiac school break-ins," Oct. 26, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "Schools for Sale," Aug. 15, 2007