After a recent inspection, the group discovered what they call rotten, moldy, and deplorable conditions. Redfield Middle School is 75 years old, but the group says the problems they found with the building stem from years of neglect and shoddy repair work. Linda Banks says unless hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations are made, the building will have to be demolished.
Banks and several others in the Redfield community cherish the school and would like to repurpose the building. "We're not going to give up. We want to continue to have programs and a place where our children can have sports and things like that."
But Todd Dobbins say none of that can happen with a flooded cellar, leaking roof, no hot water in the bathrooms, and mold and asbestos problems.
"This is not what I call maintained. It's deplorable."
Banks says the White Hall School District spent millions of dollars on other schools using taxpayer dollars she feels should have been used for repairs at Redfield. "We just feel like a stepchild. We feel like our children are treated with less value."
Superintendent Larry Smith says the decision to close Redfield Middle School is all about money, and the cost to keep up the building is too much. But Dobbins says it's going to cost the district money to tear the building down and conditions never should have gotten this bad. "This community has always been the red-headed stepchild."
Dobbins is upset to see a facility the community cares for so much neglected and destroyed. "They've had the purse strings, and they've not done a good job. In fact, they've done a horrid job."
Superintendent Smith says the building has been maintained and is in good shape for a facility that's 75 years old. He says a lot of the problems with the building simply cannot be fixed.
Starting next school year, Redfield students will be bused 20 minutes away to White Hall Middle School.