Philly Controller: 8 Empty Schools Very Dangerous

Controller says: Tear down these schools

The city controller in Philadelphia says eight vacant schools pose a threat to public safety, and that at least one should be demolished immediately.

Controller Alan Butkovitz said Tuesday that his office found drug paraphernalia, vandalism, litter and structural problems at the sites.

The school district did not have an immediate response.

Butkovitz says the former Roberto Clemente Middle School is so dilapidated it should be taken down now. He estimates it would cost $5.1 million to demolish all the buildings.

The district faced a $629 million budget gap this year, forcing staff layoffs and program cuts. Last month, officials proposed closing nine additional schools because of major enrollment declines.

The controller's report was spurred by a fire that destroyed the long-vacant Edison High School in August.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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