By Joyce Moore
Virginia Park CDC Newsletter
February 24, 2014
In March 6, 1922, HUTCHINS school which is located at 8820 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit, MI 48206 opened. It was built to address the need for an Intermediate School for the 7th and 8th Graders. Most stable communities basically have three (3) schools: an elementary, a middle school (Intermediate) and a high school.
Bringing the history more currently, a bond proposal to fund repairs to the city’s schools in 1994 allocated $5.1 million dollars to Hutchins, mostly renovations to the special education wing. By 2002, enrollment had fallen, but the quality of the educational program had dramatically increased. Hutchins students placed high at the 2003 National Academic Games and other events.
A new program brought Chess into the classroom, with some students joining associations and taking part in competitions. In 2006, AOL announces it is creating the “Detroit Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology AOL Computer Lab at Hutchins Middle School,” a classroom with 30 computers designed by teachers and student. (Internet) This alone shows that the school was on the move to being a major asset to our community as well as to the City of Detroit, if only that was the Detroit Board of Education’s plan.
The destruction of this once beautiful school and structure has resulted from the major players, [including Emergency Managers Jack Martin and Roy Roberts appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder], and the [previous] Detroit Board of Education and its neglect and politics in saving our schools that impacts upon the stability of our communities. The fact that Hutchins is not boarded up, has allowed scavengers and scrappers to: remove windows, doors, plumbing, wiring, any metals, etc. as well as destroy the structure, forcing it to become an eye sore in our community. The visual sight is a devastation to the many students that attended Hutchins in the past. It is disheartening to know that the people we have elected to take care of such a school, is neglectful and unconcerned about our community, creating more blight. This building could have been sold through a realty as opposed to becoming the emotional and physical stress of a community for the many that have attended.
Further by creating “THE AFTER” picture of Hutchins and the age of the school, a destructive situation has exposed the surrounding community to carcinogens that pollute the air that we breathe as the asbestos is openly exposed. The asbestos is absorbed through our skin, in our lungs and can lead to health issues. Again not only a neglectful situation but a health hazard and issue to our community.
The bond that involved the $5.1 million property taxes paid by property owners for the renovations to this building is a major issue as property taxes are constantly rising. Currently, we the tax payers don’t get reimbursed for such a waste and misuse of our property tax monies when the plan changes or fails. According to a local retired professor, “We the tax payers need to be reimbursed and made whole regarding this audacious assault and violation of community sensibility.”