Urban school closings in St. Louis are being blasted by community members for draining the souls of many of the city's neighborhoods.
"The children, it seems, weren't all that departed Hamilton Heights when the St. Louis Public Schools closed the doors of Hempstead Elementary, 5872 Minerva Avenue."
"'It took the heart out of this neighborhood,' said Roosevelt White, Hempstead Class of '81 and operator of the dry cleaning establishment his mother opened across the street from the school in 1962."
"Sometime in March, the residents of eight other St. Louis neighborhoods will learn if they are destined to endure the fate of Hamilton Heights and 25 other communities."
"Five city schools closed last year. The same number of buildings were closed in 2004. Those closings came on top of the 16 buildings, including Hempstead, that shut their doors a year earlier."
"In this go-around, eight more schools are scheduled to be moth-balled in a $3.3 million cost-cutting proposal St. Louis Public Schools officials emphasize is still in flux."