Vandals gut value of unused school in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A Memphis school building has sold for a fraction of its estimated value because vandals smashed nearly everything inside it.

The Commercial Appeal reported the vacant Prospect Elementary School building sold for $210,000 this week. It was appraised at $1.14 million in March 2011.

Memphis School Board officials said everything of value in the 18-classroom building had been stolen or destroyed by vandals, including the toilets. The School Board approved the sale at its meeting on Tuesday.

Board member Sara Lewis said someone should have kept better watch on the building. Deputy Superintendent Hitesh Haria responded, saying budget cuts make it hard to provide security for vacant buildings. He said the schools budget has been cut by $250 million over four years.

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