Demolition of a historic school continues - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Demolition of a historic school continues

FLINT (WJRT) -

(12/03/12) - For decades, Cody Elementary was a big part of the Flint Community School district, but it's been closed for 10 years.

Nearly one week ago, crews started tearing down the walls, clearing away the historic building.

City leaders say it's time.

The building on Fenton Road has stood there since 1925. It was once a thriving school.

Now neighbors and city leaders don't believe it's a safe place anymore.

"I'm just watching a piece of me growing up going away," said Robert Spain, who went to the school.

Cody Elementary was like a second home to some. That's why several are watching pieces of the building fall to the ground.

"I went from kindergarten to sixth grade in that school," Spain said.

"I used to go to school here when I was a little kid and it's just so many memories in this school," said Martha Foster.

Scott Kincaid, the city council member for ward 9 says tearing it down is the best way to reduce crime in the neighborhood.

"Over the last 15 years, it's really gotten bad, it's really had a number of fires in it, some drug activity going on around it, people were breaking into it, stealing stuff," Kinkaid said.

Kincaid says prostitution has also been a problem.

Even suspected arson. Back in May, there were three fires in one week. Clyde Williams, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years, said he witnessed flames on several occasions.

"At least once a week. They used to block the street off to put the fire out," Williams said.

No matter how many memories people have of Cody Elementary, it's a bitter sweet moment.

"People just made this school so bad so it's probably good to see it go," Foster said.

Demolition is expected to be done by the end of the month. There are no plans at this time for the property after all of it torn down.

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