City says fate of old Melrose High building lies in hands of residents

Memphis, TN. -- For decades the old Melrose High helped grow young students into adults, but the only things it helped grow over the last four decades are trees and trash, the vacant school is falling apart.

"I'm so tired I don't know what to do when the leaves go in the winter, I am looking at nothing but broken windows," said Julia Black.

"It's an eyesore, and we have to sit here and look at it all the time," she added.

Black lives across the street from the school that closed in 1979.

She told WREG rats scurry from the school into her home and even worse, some homeless people use the school as a place to squat.

"There's a guy who lived in there for two winters," said Black.

Toni Williams led the charge on bringing attention to the building now known for the trees growing through the windows and crumbling bricks.

"I've reached out to the mayor. I met with him in person, got petitions signed," said Williams.

He wants to get the building demolished.

Hazel Jones attended the school and initially fought to keep it open but says now that it crumbled for so long she's okay with seeing it go as long as the historical background remains.

"We want something to go there, we want to keep our historical marker. We want people to know we existed," said Jones.

The City told WREG it's leaving the fate of the building up to the community.