BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — What was once an high school, neighbors say, has turned into a giant eyesore.
People living in Roebuck Springs and the South East Lake neighborhood want the city to do something about it.
For years, Banks High School, later turned into a middle school, has sat empty. A group of people have come together to start a petition to get the attention of city leaders.
They’re hoping the blighted structure can be demolished to make way for a better use of the property.
Right now, people driving by see huge brick buildings, broken out windows and graffiti marked walls.
“It’s unfortunate, I love historic buildings but seeing a historic building like this in this condition just makes me sad and I don’t think anyone wants to see it and it can’t be brought back to where she was and put to a good purpose I don’t think anybody wants to see it here decaying,” said Kimberley Jeanty.
Jeanty would likes to see homes built on the property.
Neighbors are now concerned the school is attracting criminal activity.
“During the school year certain students are picked up by the school bus, children tend to cut across to go to their homes there have been reports of gunshots inside the building, it’s a problem,” said Jeanty.
Councilor Kim Rafferty says that’s not the case.
Rafferty tells CBS42, as of last week, the North Precinct of the Birmingham Police Department has received no reports of criminal activity at the old high school.
Rafferty does agree that something still needs to be done with the old campus.
“Everybody wants to hold on to the past or hold on to historical places and unfortunately this has outlived everything it could be and as a community, my family’s been here since 1940, we’ve realized that it is time,” said Rafferty.
Rafferty says the city was quoted about $350,000 in order to demolish the structures.
Rafferty would like to see a residential developer save the day. She plans to meet with Mayor William Bell within the next two weeks to address what can be done with the massive property.