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Residents are mixed on demolition of Greenwood school in east KC

Posted at 6:39 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 19:39:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Tuesday, demolition started at Greenwood Elementary on the city's east side.

The school was built in 1906 and has been vacant since 1996.

But now, the school is being torn down. 

"Following the neighborhoods instructions, they really wanted us to tear this down in 2015. In working to do that, we are here at this place of doing what they asked us to do," said Melissa Robinson, Chair of the Kansas City School Board.

So, three years later, that's what the school board is doing. But, there were mixed feelings.

Several protesters showed up at the school. They had a lot to be angry about, starting with how the demolition went.

"We saw what is called fugitive dust," said one protester. He went on to make the claim that workers weren't spraying down the dust correctly, worried that harmful minerals in the area.

"This is a neighborhood with a lot of elderly folks. There is a daycare across the street," said the protester.

People were also upset about the building being torn down altogether. So, they took matters in their own hands and went to the school board.

"I believe we had candid discussions with regards to what we would like to see and they applauded our effort many times," said Charlotte Bella Graham, who lives in the area.

They even went as far as going to the Historic Preservation Commission. But, it wasn't enough.

"We believe in developing East of Troost, but East of Prospect," said Graham. 

Their belief was they didn't want another vacant lot in their community.

"I can't imagine how the youth are gonna see what the future is really like if this is what their parents, aunts, uncles fight for. There is no result," said Graham.

Robinson said it is bittersweet to see the building go as the board worked hard to try and save it.

As for the future, the board will talk to neighbors on what they would like to see done in the lot.