Pastor chases scrappers away from vacant DPS school; wants to purchase building

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Instead of letting a vacant school become a playground for scrappers, a local pastor wants to buy it to better the community - but, he's getting a crash course in red tape.

Hutchinson Elementary is one of many owned by the Detroit Public School district sitting vacant. It doesn't have to be.  W.J. Rideout is the pastor of All God's People. His church sits in the shadow of the school. He wants the building.

"I would love to have the school and put it to good use in our community to help the seniors and youth," said Pastor Rideout.

While this school is still in good shape, that's not the case at other vacant DPS schools. 

They've been picked apart by scrappers. Pastor Rideout has chased them away from Hutchinson in an effort to preserve it and he has tried to buy the place. He says a change in administration has led to red tape. "Everything is moving slow, it's dead-locked and paperwork has been lost," said Pastor Rideout.

A spokesperson for the Detroit public school district tells 7 Action News their records indicate they have received no offers on the property.

Detroit Public Schools will hold a major property developers conference titled "Old Schools, New uses:  Reinventing Vacant School Buildings & Sites in Detroit for innovative Redevelopment" on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 9:30am-3:30pm. 

Registration costs $65 per person


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