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West Virginia district will tear down vacant high school

Oct. 9, 2018
Wayne County school board takes steps to raze the former Buffalo High School building after frequent reports of criminal activity.

After complaints of criminal and drug activity in the vacant Buffalo High School building, the Wayne County (W.Va.) school district has started the process to demolish the property.

The Wayne County News reports that the district has been in contact with architects and will seek bids for demolition of the building, which ceased operating as a school about two decades ago.

"Once we get an idea of the cost then we will be able to move forward with the plan," says Wayne County Schools Superintendent Todd Alexander.

According to a Facebook post, parents and children witnessed two individuals at the building last month who were passed out after allegedly using drugs. 

Brenda Marcum, a mother of two Buffalo Elementary School students, expressed her concern to the school board during public comment at a recent meeting.

"It's a concern because that building has been vacant for probably 20 years," she says. "People have seen people go in and out and I know the electricity is still on. There are rumors that people have been living there using the air conditioning, water and power."

The superintendent says district workers check the building regularly.

"We have maintenance staff that drives through there every morning looking for signs of people being over there," Alexander says. "We've actually had law enforcement over there a few times. There was a sweep of the building on the day in question and we have re-secured that building. We've done that about three times, but they keep on breaking through."

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