For 12th grader Andrew Pierce the halls of Columbus Alternative High School are friendly but too familiar.
“So right here we’re seeing missing roofing tiles that fell on my junior year. And as a student when I see this I view my school as falling apart and actually hurts my morale,” said Pierce.
To he and other students of the magnet school on Columbus’ North Side, originally built as an elementary school in the mid 1920s and showing every bit of its nearly 100-years, conditions are less than ideal for learning.
From the tiny bathrooms more fit for smaller bodies, to the lack of an adequate heating and cooling system and many other defects in between, pointed out to NBC4 by students.
They showed us busted pipes, exposed ceiling nails graffiti on some walls and faulty electrical outlets.
Darryl Sanders has been principal of CAHS for 5-years and with the district more than 30.
“It’s real for them,” he said.
Sanders knows it’ll take the help of the community to get a new school.
“That’s the only way you’re going to get a new building is a bond issue, we know that,” he said.
School Board Principal Gary Baker said it’ll take millions.
“We anticipate that it might cost as much as $40,000,000 to build a new Columbus Alternative High School.
But both men are fully aware that the type of student engagement like this that gets media coverage, is something money can’t buy.
Baker and the school board met to discuss the district’s aging buildings as students at CAHS took community leaders and media on a tour of the building. There were no major decisions made by the board. The spent time during the workshop to review and discuss the issues as a group. The students at CAHS want the district to bring in a general contractor to review some of the issues and provide an estimate for necessary repairs.