By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city controller says vacant school buildings in Philadelphia are a disaster waiting to happen.
Controller Alan Butkovitz provided reporters with a video — complete with creepy music — depicting eight vacant schools littered with drug paraphernalia and trash.
Butkovitz called the buildings a danger and a breeding ground for crime.
“The school district continues to allow the majority of its vacant buildings to become neighborhood eyesores and safety hazards,” Butkovitz told reporters today.
One vacant building, the former Roberto Clemente Middle School (below), closed for 13 years, was in such structural disrepair that Butkovitz recommends it be demolished immediately.
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The other schools listed by Butkovitz, in addition to Clemente and Walton, are the Alcorn Annex at 33rd and Reed Streets; the Beeber Wynnefield, 53rd and Euclid; Simon Muhr, 12th and Allegheny; George W. Childs, 1541 S. 17th St.; Elizabeth Gillespie, 1801 W. Pike St.; and Ada Lewis, 6199 Ardleigh St.
Philadelphia school district spokesman Fernando Gallard says the district agrees that some of its vacant buildings need to be better sealed. He says the district is still considering how to reuse its properties, and that the controller’s report will help the district improve procedures.