Neighbors concerned over crime, vandalism at Old Blacksburg High School

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) More issues for Montgomery County as citizens are growing concerned over the care of the Old Blacksburg High School building and property.

The old Blacksburg High School hasn't housed students in six years. But in that time, not much has been done with it and Montgomery County still owns the land.

Now, neighbors are personally handling trash clean up around the area.

They're also dealing with graffiti on the walls of the building, many times with vulgar words or images.

Barbara Newton, who lives across the street from the old school, recounted, "I called the County and I said, 'Hey is there anything you can do about this? I'll send you pictures. We shouldn't leave that graffiti on the building.' And [Brenda Rigney] had somebody over and covering it up within 24 hours."

Newton said the county isn't doing anything to prevent the vandalism, though.

There's a fence around the building, but it's not stopping people. Recently, she called police about doors being propped open that should be locked.

"Within 15 minutes Blacksburg Police came over and looked and they said, 'We're going to take a look around. Today is not a day anybody should be over here and we'll take care of it,'" she said.

County officials would not comment on these situations.

But Newton said the County needs to take these problems seriously.

"We're concerned because we don't want to attract anyone to continue to deface the school," she explained. "We want to use the track, we want to walk the grounds, and we want to take care of and not let it go into further disrepair."

She went on to say, "The County needs to embrace the neighbors like myself that call up and say, 'Hey the dumpster is full,' 'Hey there's trash in the parking lot,' 'Hey there's a tractor trailer sitting in the parking lot, is it okay for that tractor trailer to be sitting there?'"

But that's not the permanent solution, according to neighbors of the land.

"What I'd like the most is if the County went ahead and sold the property," Newton said.

County officials also wouldn't comment on when a bid could be accepted on this property.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Christopher Tuck said in an email to WDBJ7 in March regarding the Old High School and Middle School buildings, "The reason the Board is not discussing them in public is because they are related to negotiations on the sale of property and public disclosure at this time could effect the County's bargaining position."

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