The Sacramento City Unified School District say schools that are closed will not be abandoned vandal magnates.
The district is deciding to close as many as 11 schools that are underused. But besides parents wanting to retain neighborhood schools for their kids, they worry about vacant campuses.
“Crime, what’s going to happen to abandoned buildings, are they going to come in and vandalize? What’s going to happen to the neighborhood?” said Maria Moreno, whose kids went to Maple Elementary School across the street from her house.
Maple is one of the schools on the chopping block.
But Freeport Elementary school which closed last year in a budget move hasn’t been a target of vandals. That’s because charter school with 125 kids has moved in. A community health clinic is also housed on campus.
“I did worry about it at first that the campus was going to be empty, but no, they came in and they did their thing,” said Dons Hicks, who lives near Freeport Elementary. His kids also go to Capitol Collegiate charter school which moved in.
Lisbon Elementary and Bear Flag School also have charter schools who rent space for several hundred kids. The district is actually contracted to do building maintenance by some of the charter schools. In addition, programs like pre-schools are also housed on the campuses. Alice Birney School was shut down several years ago, but the district moved in its Waldorf based school to keep the campus open.
Closed schools in other districts have been vandalized and it’s unclear if older facilities will be in demand. Some believe with 11 schools in jeopardy of closing that there may be a glut of school space.
“If they do shut down the other schools, who’s going to take ’em on? There’s going to be a whole lot of abandoned properties I think,” said Hicks.
The district says it will keep up maintenance on closed campuses and be responsible for their security no matter how many schools are closed.