In light of the recent and topical conversation about New Rochelle’s second government (the board of education), now seems like a good time to shed some light on another specific issue that chronicles poor decision making by the BoE, misuse of funds, continued ignorance of the issue and seemingly no effort to make right the misdeed. This issue makes New Rochelle visually seem more like an inner-city slum than a fine suburb of Manhattan. It wholly shows the inconsiderate and uncaring attitude of the Board of Education, it lowers the real estate value of the neighboring areas and reflects poorly on the city overall.
Specifically, the visual atrocity referred to is the physical graffiti that uglies the entire outer rim of New Rochelle High School. New Rochelle High School Football has grown in prominence over the years, and there well-attended games have catalyzed a problem that seems to be being completely ignored by the school board and the city. In summary, there is an outpouring of attendees that refuse to pay admission to enter William H. McKenna field; they typically reside on the hoods of parked cars (also, typically not their own vehicles), and attempt to watch the gridiron action from the outer rim of the Clove Rd. circle. These brash hooligans tend to drink alcohol, consume lots of food, smoke and generally leave all their garbage right where they create it. Rather than take specific measures to combat this, nor implore the police force to enforce laws about public drinking and/or littering—the school board thought it wise to spend a few thousand bucks and install a hideous plastic shield system into the chain link fence that surrounds the field. Stretching the length of the fence, these black barriers are intended to make viewing the football action impossible unless you enter the field and take your seat amongst the rest of the paying attendees.
What the school board did not count on was the gross indifference to school property that would ensue, the huge piles of litter that would remain, and the disgusting visual evidence of property destruction that would remain long after the game is done. The photos below offer visual examples of to what I refer. These cheaply installed plastic shields are being laboriously cut away by vandals who wish to watch the game free of charge. What was once a full shield of black dividers now resembles physically defaced Swiss cheese that offer a large-enough portal with which to watch the game from the street.
As these photos demonstrate, the holes are plentiful. Many crop up in bunches as groups of onlookers freely deface the property. Also pictured is a common pile of trash that invariably accompanies these uncaring fans’s attendance. Please specifically note the discarded six pack of Heineken. The spectators come; they deface school property with abandon and without fear of retribution. They leave their trash for all to see long after the game has been put in the books and ultimately they sully our town with obvious physical graffiti. These photos, showing the destruction & debris, were taken a full day after the occurrence of the game. Along with the busted plastic pieces strewn about, the trash simply sits there for days.
Conceptually, this idea was ill conceived from the beginning, but now the eyesore that remains (long after the season has concluded) has become a constant reminder of the corruption and ineffective nature of the Board of Education. This defacement and consequent unfixed defacement that remains literally lower the quality of New Rochelle. Clove Road is a heavily trafficked thoroughfare that all citizens utilize in order to reach the entrance of the Hutchinson River Parkway. As the many drivers traverse Clove Road, invariably they see the brutalized fence that more closely resembles a slum than a high school.
The bottom line here is that the Board of Education threw some window dressing on an issue, and in doing, served to create a host of additional issues that remain and may not be rectified any time soon. Anyone who drives near the school will notice these gaping holes and scratch their head in disbelief.