Vandalism at former Kings Mountain school sparks demonstration discussion – Reuters

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Abigail Roberts

Corresponding

KINGS MOUNTAIN — After reviewing photos of recent vandalism to the old Kings Mountain Elementary School building, members of the Lincoln County School Board agreed to get a cost estimate for demolishing the property.

Lincoln County Superintendent Michael Rowe shared photos with board members of the damaged building, which includes shattered windows, spilled paint that stained several floors and trash.

Vandalism at Kings Mountain School. Photo submitted

“It’s kind of devastating what’s going on there,” Rowe said.

New locks were placed on the doors on Wednesday and Thursday, Rowe said vandals had already cut the locks and returned to the building.

Rowe asked council members what they would like to do with the building in the future.

“That’s the question I have for you; it has been over 15 years since this building closed as a school. What is the next step the board wants to take? Rowe said. “Can we hire a security guard to go down there and keep an eye on it all the time?” Yeah, we can do that. It will cost money. Can cameras be installed there? It will cost money. My thoughts, I don’t see us using the building there for anything in the future as it’s definitely outdated and will cost more to do anything.

Operations manager Darren Yaden said windows had been smashed in the past few years and they had tried to deter vandals, but the situation had recently worsened.

Rowe asked the board’s attorney, Jonathan Baker, about the district’s liability should anyone be injured on the property.

“When you own a property there’s always a kind of fear of liability, but obviously they’re trespassers, they’re not guests and they’re not there for any purpose, so obviously they’re intrusions and liability should be minimal,” Baker said. “But there’s always a concern when you own the property, especially when you know people are there and you don’t take extra steps and try to stop people from getting there.”

Board member Ricky Lane asked if it would be possible to demolish the school while preserving the gymnasium.

“From my personal experience, it would be very expensive,” Yaden said.

Rowe said there were also two businesses running the internet from the top of the building.

“We weren’t aware of this. I thisnk the county government gave them permission to do so, so they came in and out of our buildings to work on their equipment that we didn’t know about,” he said.

Board member Gloria Sneed said the phototures show only part of the damage to the building.

“The pictures don’t do it justice, I went to see it today,” she said.

Lane said if the building had any asbestos in it, he thought it had to go.

“The vandalism part had me there already, but my opinion is if it has asbestos in it…I would be in favor of a vote to demonstrate the property, clean it up,” he said. declared.

Sneed said she thinks it should be torn down.

“We’re not looking to make a solid decision tonight, just to have some general thoughts,” Board Chairman Win Smith said.

A Lincoln County rescue team is interested in part of the land, Sneed said.

Rowe offered to contact the rescue team and see if they’re still interested.

“We’ve had it inspected but don’t have a value estimate yet,” Rowe said.

The group agreed to look at the cost of demolishing the building.

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