BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Peeling paint, live wires and mold–all found inside a Baltimore City school. Now a state senator is demanding answers from the school system about what he calls an emergency situation.
Meghan McCorkell has the disturbing images from inside the building.
The senator says even though school doesn’t start until August 31, someone has dropped the ball on giving students what was promised.
Live wires sticking out of a wall, mold growing on the ceiling, carpets filthy dirty inside classrooms.
“Parents are upset, community members are upset,” said Senator Bill Ferguson, (D) Baltimore City.
Those are the dire conditions state senator Bill Ferguson, a former city school teacher, found when he went to check on New Era Academy in Cherry Hill last week.
The school is set to merge with Maritime Industries Academy High School, creating a “world class career and college academy.”
“What was promised there was a model institution for the city of Baltimore. What I saw was a disgrace,” Senator Ferguson said.
Even with a month left until school starts, Ferguson says some issues won’t be fixed in time.
“There’s still windows that there is no way they will be replaced and they are open to the open air. There are open furnaces where there are live wires hanging out,” he said.
But some say the city is under pressure from the state to merge school facilities without the funding to do it.
“The city school system has the oldest school buildings in the state and the most deficient school buildings in the state,” said Frank Patinella, ACLU education advocate.
Patinella says city schools lost $23 million in state funding this year–funding it desperately needed.
“Close to 80 percent of the school buildings are in very poor condition by industry standards,” he said.
Still, Senator Ferguson says promises need to be kept.
“Our kids in the city of Baltimore deserve better,” said Ferguson.
And he wants to make sure they get it.
The senator says he plans to visit the school weekly until opening day to make sure the renovations are complete.
WJZ repeatedly asked city school officials for a response to the senator’s concerns. As of now, we have not received a statement.