SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.-- Two parents in the East Valley School District want answers as to why students are being sent back to an old boarded up middle school.
The district closed Mountain View Middle School two years ago. This school year, district officials decided to use part of the building, but the boards remain.
Repeated vandalism is what forced school officials to board up every window and door that has glass.
“I don't think anyone wants to go into a building anywhere in any city that looks like this,” Mindy Stewart, a concerned East Valley School District parent, said.
Mindy Stewart and her husband Dan have three children that attend East Farms Magnet School. This year, students there will walk the length of a couple football fields to use the old Mountain View Middle School building for music, health and P.E. classes.
“As parents, we had no idea that our kids were coming to a building that basically was told to the voters a couple years ago was unsuitable for students,” Stewart said.
District superintendent John Glenewinkel said the school board decided to close Mountain View two years ago because of declining enrollment during tough economic times. That is when the vandals repeatedly broke windows.
Glenewinkel says this school year the district decided to allow limited access to the building for additional space.
“We recognized that this could be a politically hot topic, but it would be kind of foolish not to continually re-evaluate your facilities,” John Glenewinkel, EVSD Superintendent, said.
Glenewinkel said Mountain View has plumbing problems, water leaks and problems with its H-VAC system. But he said that is the older part of the school, now the new section where students have classes this year.
The school just passed inspection from the fire marshal.
“We are always concerned about keeping students safe and the idea that we would do anything that wouldn't do that is just not valid,” Bill Clifford, Spokane Valley Assistant Fire Marshal, said.
The superintendant said the district has plans to make the school more attractive for students. That could include painting murals over the boarded up windows.