Despite a student-produced video showing deteriorating conditions at Druid Hills High School in the suburbs of Atlanta, the DeKalb County (Ga.) school board has voted to allocate modernization funds elsewhere.
In an eight-minute video posted on the internet, students used their cellphones to show gaping holes in ceilings, crumbling bathrooms and signs warning of possible electrical shock around utilities in one room, The Associated Press reports.
But the DeKalb County school board voted 5-2 this week not to include Druid Hills in its plan for facility repairs. It had been on a list of schools set for overhauls but it was removed earlier this year.
Druid Hills serves about 1,330 students. It has been in existence since the 1920s and its oldest building is about 95 years old.
Other conditions depicted in the student video included plaster falling off walls, water leaking in many areas and a ceiling hole so big a student is shown placing his entire hand through it.
Cost estimates to tear down and rebuild some parts of the school and modernize it range from about $52 million to $60 million.
“It was sad that a majority of the board is willing to consign the students to a facility that is in just deplorable conditions,” said board member Marshall Orson, who represents neighborhoods near the school. “This would not be acceptable anywhere. The notion that this is acceptable at one of our schools is incomprehensible.”
But Board Chair Vickie Turner said that “our goal is to provide equity across the district.”
Under the plan approved by the board, Druid Hills may receive some money for individual projects just as other schools in the district will, but nowhere near the amount needed to fix its substantial problems.
More: YouTube video produced by Druid Hills students: