Erie’s Public Schools Directors to meet to discuss the fate of Roosevelt Middle School

Local News

Erie’s Public Schools Directors will meet Wednesday to decide the fate of Erie’s Roosevelt Middle School.

Some are saying get rid of it and others are asking if it can be re-purposed.

On Wednesday, the school board will vote to approve an agenda item, allowing a company to perform asbestos field work.

That needs to be done before the school district can move forward with the possible demolition of Roosevelt Middle School.

“It used to be a beautiful middle school. They had nice tennis courts, nice basketball courts for the kids to play in. Now it is just a huge eyesore,” said Phillip Vannucci, former student, Roosevelt Middle School.

Phillip Vannucci recalls attending Roosevelt in the late 70’s. He says after years of sitting vacant and not well maintained it has become a problem in the neighborhood with people breaking into it.

Another neighbor who taught at the school says he wishes more could be done with the building.

“I wish it could be remodeled. I wish it could be something effective for our beautiful community and this neighborhood. But, I also know the reality of time and she’s a old building with a lot of wear and tear,” said James DeSandro, former teacher, Roosevelt Middle School.

After closing the middle school doors in 2007, the building went on sale for four years with not one perspective buyer reaching out.

The school district initially hoped for someone to purchase the building and possible re-purpose it, but after last year’s fire that was no longer an option.

“We feel that the land is actually more valuable without the building on it. At this point, the building has gone beyond any repair,” said Neal Brokman, Director of Operations, Erie’s Public Schools.

At this point, the building is more of a hazard to have up. The Director of Operations for the school district says the estimate to demolish the building is $850,000.

The building will more than likely be taken down pending the results of the asbestos survey.

“I think this is something that will make the neighborhood better. But yes, we understand there are emotional ties to the building,” said Brokman.

Work on tearing down Roosevelt could begin as early as late summer. As for Ainsworth Field, that will not be part of the demolition. The property has been subdivided, meaning the properties are separate.

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