Parents Battle to Move Bus Stop Away from Vacant Building

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Parents in one Rockford neighborhood say the bus stop where their kids wait every morning isn't safe and they want it moved. That's because they say it’s too close to a boarded up eyesore, the former Rock River School.

"As a mom, I think about it all the time, what are they doing down there, are they safe, are they getting to school?" says Jacqueline McLeod.

McLeod says she’s frustrated that her 6th grader has to wait for the bus every day just steps from the former Rock River School. McLeod says the vacant building is not only an eyesore but it also attracts people who she doesn't want around her 11 year old.

"If there's someone lurking in the building who wants to snatch a child, I’m not going to know,” says McLeod.

8th Ward alderman Venita Hervey says the property has become a known spot for drug dealers and a make-shift shelter for the homeless. A gaping hole in the building’s roof is left over from one of several fires.

"I’m asking staff if they can get a handle on where the property is, if it’s in foreclosure, what is the actual status and see if we can't force some kind of movement on the building,” says Hervey.

McLeod says she's tried asking the Rockford School District to move her daughter's bus stop so she and other middle and high school students won't be as close to the building.

“I had the safety officer out and he told me they’re not going to move the bus stop. I've talked to other parents in the neighborhood and they said they would be fine moving the bus stop," says McLeod.

In the meantime, this determined mom says she'll keep fighting to make sure her daughter's route to school is a safe one.

According to employees in the district’s transportation department, the bus routes for the middle and high schools are mapped out so the stops are in a line and that's why they don't stop in neighborhoods.

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