Midland Homeowners Speak Out Against Alternative School in their Neighborhood 9/12/12
CBS 7 Reporter
September 12, 2012
Midland, TX - Some tall city homeowners say they fear for their safety and their property.
The Midland Alternative Program, or MAP, could be switching locations, moving into their neighborhood. Now some residents are speaking out against the change.
MAP is a campus for students who have been placed into disciplinary alternative education programs. The kids could be in MAP for anything from a dress code violation, to drugs or fighting on campus.
"We have the most challenging students in the district,” explains Principal Lena Buck. “I've been here going on 8 yrs and I love it."
But Principal Buck says they've outgrown the campus in downtown Midland.
"We need a facility that is more appropriate,” she explains. “Here in this small school we don't have a cafeteria, we don't have a library. Plus we need more space. We see that our numbers may eventually grow some."
One option for MAP is the former West Early Childhood Building, located in Midland's Central Museum District.
"Its a wonderful neighborhood," explains homeowner Cindy Klatt.
Klatt is one of 2-dozen homeowners near West that is speaking out against the relocation.
She says many of the residents are elderly, and although they support the program, they don't think this location is appropriate.
"I think putting problem kids in a neighborhood is not a good thing."
But not every homeowner near the campus is opposed to the move; one of Klatt's neighbors is none other than Principal Buck herself.
"I live right there in West Elementary neighborhood so I was not surprised by their reaction because if I didn’t know the school or the kids like I do now then I might possibly be one of those persons also," Buck says.
"The children that are at the MAP program are on all of our campuses,” explains MISD Board President Jay Isaacs. “It's just that they've made a bad decision in some form or fashion."
Isaacs says they welcome the feedback from neighbors and they're looking at every possible option for MAP and how to effectively utilize the West campus, but right now their number one priority is the kids.
"They're still students that are in our school district. They need and deserve an education," Isaacs says.
"They are good kids, they've just made bad choices," claims Principal Buck.
Another concern brought up by some of the homeowners is their property values if MAP moves into the West building. Midland realtor Jane Wolf says she doesn't see why the schools location would lower their property values.
Isaacs says they are looking at all options and their goal is to reduce the administrative footprint in Midland.
The school board has asked Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren to look at appraisal values for the West building and the Mashburn building where MAP is currently located.