The now closed Thurgood Marshall School, which once stood for a symbol of progress in Fort Lincoln, is now a symbol blight and poses a continued threat to public safety. Everyday, the graffiti, break-ins, homeless squatting, and now loitering of youth has engulfed this facility. In the past year, I have called emergency personnel for serious violations consisting of everything from busted water-mains in the winter, homeless squatting, drug & gang paraphernalia, open live electrical boxes, burning cars and more. This is all taking place within a few hundred feet of a senior citizen residential building, the recently completed Villages at Dakota Crossing and is across the street from another residential development under construction with homes prices starting at $600,000. Moreover, the damage to this school is beyond vandalism; it is also structurally degrading. The roofing membrane has been ripped up, mortar between bricks have been washed away, window are broken, and concrete is now chipping away on structural members. The District Government has reacted to short term resolution of some of the issues as they arise; however, this only happens after I observe, call, and tweet the issues while walking my dog during daylight. With the earlier sunsets and absence of lighting around the facility, days go by before I observe anything. At this rate, the entire facility will be covered in graffiti by the beginning of the new year 2016. I once even observed amateur photographers taking pictures of the graffiti who were from Maryland, I might add. The developer has petitioned the city since the Gray Administration about the conversion of the School to a YMCA . This conversion would take advantage of the indoor pool as well as having another City Agency occupy the remaining space. Today, we are no closer to moving in a suitable tenant or having the city appropriate funding to stop the degradation of this valuable asset. As district residents do we not deserve better than this? What would you do if this was happening in your community?
Below are photos from vandalism and decay at the school which is adjacent to Fort Lincoln Park.