A Look at the Arson Damage from Inside Former Erie Middle School
We're getting a first look at some of the damage caused by arson last week, at a vacant Erie school building.
Pictures show the destroyed wooden bleachers, which were set on fire sometime overnight on June 7th, inside the former Roosevelt Middle School.
Investigators say someone prided open a secure door at the Cranberry street building, got inside, and started the fire in the second-floor gymnasium.
It spread to another part of the building, causing extensive damage, along with lots of smoke and water damage.
The lead architect for the Erie school district has been able to get into the building, and expects to make a determination soon on whether it is structurally sound.
Executive Director of Operations at Erie's Public Schools, Neal Brokman, says the fire may have caused too much damage to the gym floor, for the building to be saved, “It's a matter of weighing all those options to see how bad it is right now, and if it gets to the point where it is too bad that we have to unfortunately tear the building down, then that may be what we have to do,” said Brokman.
The nearly 100-year-old building has been closed since 2007, and the Erie school district has had it for sale the past couple years, with no interested buyers.
The administration is expected to make a decision next week on whether they will repair the building, or have to demolish it.
Demolition would cost around $800,000.