Purchase of Waring property creates controversy

Just as the buzz began to subside after the announcement of the
arena location, controversy has arisen in the past week regarding
the sale of the Waring School property to Saint Louis
University.

Waring was one of 16 schools closed and put up for sale by the
St. Louis City School Board in the summer of 2003.

In December 2003, the University announced that the Waring
property would be the site of the arena.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, School board member
Bill Haas said that Waring did not meet the criteria for being
closed, even though he voted for the school to be shut down.

Schools that were targeted for closing were those that were not
filled to capacity, were in poor condition and had poor test
scores.

While state test scores were above average for the district,
Waring had only 150 students, half of the building’s capacity, and
was not air-conditioned. There was also no predicted residential
growth for the area.

Haas said that he thinks that school board member and Grand
Center, Inc., CEO Vince Schoemehl and school board superintendent
William Roberti were involved in a deal to close Waring. University
President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., sits on the Grand Center
board.

Roberti says he plans to sue Haas for defamation.

Student Government Association President Nick Sarcone has been
assured there was no wrongdoing on the University’s part.

“It was totally irresponsible on Haas’ part,” Sarcone said.
“This should all just pass over.”