Officials: Trenton school in shambles

March 23, 2011 3:27:54 PM PDT
How would you like it if your child sat in classrooms where the ceilings literally collapse from water damage and buckets dot the floor to catch the leaks?

That's how bad conditions are at Trenton Central High School.

"Days when it rains, you see what we have here, there's buckets around the school. They use little buckets until they get full and they dump them in big buckets," buildings and grounds director Everett Collins said.

"It's unconscionable to ask these kids to go to school in these conditions," Algernon Ward of the Trenton School Board said.

Built in 1932 and crumbling on the inside and out, Trenton High was recently cut from a list of schools to be rebuilt by the state's Schools Development Authority. But the district is desperate to get the SDA to reconsider, pointing to warped floors, corroded plumbing, dangerous windows and the presence of mold and asbestos.

In the library, where it also leaks when it rains, the librarian keeps a mousetrap on her desk.

"The mice have run across the kids as they're sitting in here, they've run across the desks. So we catch the mice and get rid of them," librarian Nancy Lee said.

"Our students' education is being drastically impacted because of an old infrastructure which we're forced to live in," Acting Superintendent Raymond Broach said.

"Look at the place. It looks horrible. The other schools have better advantages and we don't. I feel like they don't care about us," student Layla Pineda said.

In 2009, the SDA was ready to move ahead with a new high school, but some residents objected to tearing down the landmark building. The dispute caused a delay and the state moved on to other projects.

But school officials aren't giving up.

At a meeting to be held at the high school next week, the superintendent and the school board are hoping to convince the state to put Trenton back on the list because the school, they say, is unacceptable.