School in poorest district wasted money


I lived across from Midway City School in Westminster for l5 years.  It closed in ’93, but it’s useful to note how it was mismanaged.  It threw out desk/chair combinations, workbooks, a pull-down map, toys, bird houses, bulletin boards, games, dolls, records, teaching mat­erials, lumber, firewood, expensive door closers (now on my house), a file cabinet, and, on one occasion, hundreds of good textbooks.  Lots of yard waste was thrown out, though this could have been used for compost, which the school ground desperately needed.  The heaters in two classrooms went on during the middle of the night, weekends, and holidays.  The automatic sprinklers weren’t turned off during the wet seasons.

One Spring during a drought, the sprinklers were on every night for months.  I made many calls, and it seemed to stop.  But later the water was on twice a night, most of the week.  I made more calls and it finally stopped.  All this, yet sent its students door to door selling candy to raise money.

Often the sprinklers stuck, flooding some areas.  Once 1000 square feet were under water.  Usually some sprinklers were partly blocked by grass.  The grounds were a mix of soggy, dry, yellow, green, brown, barren, and sand.  The parking strips were never watered.  Parks and other schools maintained good lawns; this school never did.

Other matters were: broken glass on the grounds for months, litter, kids playing tackle football without pads after school, trash in front of a dumpster half the time, unswept sidewalks and driveway for months, expensive improvements when talking of selling the school, and no lights in the early a.m. almost every night – despite cases of arson next door and at a nearby jr. high.

I called and wrote school officials, school board members, politicians, the PTA, water officials, and the media, and got bureaucratic excuses, good inten­tions, patronizing, LONG-winded assurances, few results, and NO follow-up.