The Crusader Newspaper Group

Bus trip organized for Roosevelt meeting in Indianapolis

Crusader Staff Report

The State of Indiana Board of Education will decide what should be done with the Roosevelt College and Career Academy building during an important meeting on November 6 in Indianapolis.

An effort is underway to sign up alumni from Roosevelt and the West Side Leadership Academy for a bus trip to Indianapolis.

The meeting comes as the future of Roosevelt remains uncertain under EdisonLearning and the state-controlled Gary School District. Their broken promises and a lack of transparency has deepened distrust among alumni, parents and residents of Gary.

West Side has problems too. On Saturday, October 12, the school’s PTSA passed a resolution asking the district to make several critical infrastructure repairs at the school. The resolutions ask the state to forgive the $90 million debts of the Gary Community School Corporation. The group also wants the state to restore local control of the Gary school district.

The West Side PSTA also wants repairs made to the roof at West Side. The group said the school’s indoor swimming pool needs repairs and the bathrooms need to be renovated, as well as the security doors and entrances at the school. The group also wants vacant school buildings demolished. They want a study done also to determine whether a new school building should be built.

The resolution also calls for funds to create a museum district that will include Roosevelt’s historic but shuttered building at 730 West 25th Avenue and the nearby Jackson family home.

At press time Wednesday, Roosevelt alumni were drafting their own resolution after they determined that the one from West Side PSTA wasn’t enough to address Roosevelt, academics and the deteriorating building.

Roosevelt’s future is at stake. The building was closed in February when the pipes burst during frigid temperatures. Since then, over 500 students have been attending classes at the Gary Area Career Center, which this month faced heavy criticism during a walk through from Tony Walker, a member of the state’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB). Walker grew outspoken after noticing one class being held out of a garage at the center. Teachers are concerned that the facility is not warm enough to make it through the winter.

Meanwhile Roosevelt’s 90-year old building remains closed as its students remain in the Gary Area Career Center for another year. After two community meeting where little was said about the building’s future, Emergency Manager Pete Morikis said more meetings will be held but he has yet to give any dates. Eric Parish, an executive with MGT Consulting, has not provided any documented professional assessments on the building repair costs, despite repeated requests by alumni and this newspaper.

Last week, the Crusader published an investigative story that said Parish lied about having talks with Powers & Sons about a second walk through at Roosevelt. The first one Parish led drew criticism from alumni who were not invited on the tour but instead watched a dark video of the event at a community meeting in July.

While there is concern about whether the shuttered building will suffer irreparable damage from another winter, there is deeper concern that Roosevelt will cease to exist should students be moved to West Side and reclassified as West Side students.

These are concerns that alumni seek to address at the upcoming meeting in Indianapolis. Attorney Tracy Coleman is coordinating the bus trip to the meeting. She can be reached at 219-689-8589. Donations are being sought to cover the transportation costs.

On November 6 the bus will leave at 4 a.m. from the McDonald’s at 3520 Grant Street. The bus is expected to return to Gary by 4 p.m.

Recent News

Scroll to Top