Recently vandals have frequently struck the old Rossville Middle School on Williams Street. In some areas of the school broken glass was several inches deep, along with de-stroyed equipment such as file cabinets and older computers.
Graffiti and destruction is the evidence of adolescent rage at the former home of the Rossville Bulldogs.
Arrest reports show that Kathleen Lenae Whitt was arrested, plus three juveniles, on July 28 for misdemeanor criminal trespassing on the middle schools grounds, along with other arrests in recent weeks.
“They’re up there for no good. Same way with the park. They have destroyed, I don’t know how much stuff, at our play ground, “ Rossville mayor Baker said.
The school had been using the building to store some of the equipment not needed at the new Rossville Middle School.
The security system that once kept teacher and students safe was shut off several months after moving to the new school, caused by funding cuts.
Walker County Schools began to make immediate improvements, just hours after super-intendent of schools Melissa Mathis was notified of the situation.
“We will be responsible for continuing improvements in every realm for security and safety to the extent we as a school system are able,” Mathis said in regards to vandalism at the former Rossville Middle School.
Mayor Baker had to deal with graffiti, vandalism and loitering teens in the city park by installing high-intensity lighting in the park, along with surveillance cameras in April.
“It (the vandalism) is always heavier when kids are out of school,” Rossville director of public safety Sid Adams said.
“Some people just have fun going down and tearing up our park and now we are going to be able to see who is tearing it up,” Baker said. “We are going to press serious charges.”
“The primary area we were having problems was the park, and now of course, the school after that,” Adams said.
More lights and cameras are to be installed, according to Rossville park and recreation director Marvin “Stump” Martin.
Martin credits the effort in reducing the amount of teens loitering in the city’s park.
“We are going to take care of our park,” Martin said, noting that the surveillance capabil-ity allows him to monitor the park from his home or office.
“They don’t’ know that they’re on government property. They don’t know the liability that the fines and what they could get, could destroy their lives just by going in with a spray can and spraying vulgar stuff on walls,” Baker said about the teen vandals.
“It’s not just Rossville Middle School. It’s going on all around here,” Baker said, referring to youths from surrounding areas vandalizing areas of Rossville.
As other Rossville businesses had been vacated due to closings in recent years, the empty buildings would quickly endure graffiti and vandalism, which declines when new businesses occupy the buildings.