Akron neighbors want answers on old Goodrich Middle School

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 7:01 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - An eye-sore is becoming a danger to a neighborhood in Akron.

Dumping, vandalism, and squatting are all regular occurrences for the empty building.

This is the first thing they see when they come around that corner,” said Patrick Evans, referring to the old Goodrich Middle School.

As people drive into Akron through I-77, they’re greeted with the site of boarded up windows and walls that have been smashed through, graffiti, and dozens of trash bags piled up.

Patrick Evans says the old Goodrich Middle School on the corner of Lafollette and Hammel Street didn’t always look like this, but in the last couple years, things have plummeted.

“In the winter time, people have been getting in there to seek shelter,” said Evans. “But recently, just the dumping. They’ve got work projects or whatever. Tires have been an issue, where they dump tires here.”

An even bigger issue is safety.

“Just on the other side of that parking lot, I was held at gunpoint.”

Tired of the crime and the waste of space, Evans just wants to see the building torn down.

But he and his neighbors don’t even know who owns it.

After getting nowhere with the city, he called the 19 Troubleshooters and we got to work.

We spoke with the city’s deputy director of public service and learned a non-profit called the Gooden Faith Community Center bought the property in 2019.

According to Akron Public Schools, which auctioned the property off, the man running the organization is named Jimmy Gooden, a well-known basketball star in the area.

So we reached out to him.

As of 5 p.m., we haven’t heard back.

No concrete answer Thursday, but as always, the 19 Troubleshooters will continue digging until neighbors on Lafollette Street know what the plans are for this eyesore.