Abandoned School Rotting For Decades But Broward School Board Does Nothing


The rotting and crumbling 60-year old Broward public school has sat abandoned for decades.

Yet despite years of complaints from Dania Beach officials and residents, the School Board refuses to tear down the decrepit former Olsen Middle School.

The rotting and crumbling 60-year old Broward public school has sat abandoned for decades.

“Vagrants stay there and kids have been known to go in,” Dania Beach resident Mimi Donly told Browardbeat.com.

The city has eyed the prime land that the school sits on for years. 

The school’s seven acres are two blocks east of Federal Highway and two blocks north of Sheridan Street. 

The land bordered in red to the right of the picture below is the old Olsen Middle. It is prime property — roughly seven acres east of Federal Highway.

It would make a perfect park, one city official said. 

But City Hall has never been able to cut a deal with the school system. 

“The Broward School Board promised that the old school on Southeast 11th Terrace and Third Avenue would be demolished when students moved into a new, adjacent Olsen Middle School building in 1994,” according to the Miami Herald that year. 

It never happened.

School Board trustworthiness was no better 30 years ago than it is today.

Instead of long-hoped for trees, ballfields and a playground, east Dania Beach residents have an eyesore. 

An eyesore with paint peeling off the mold and rust stained walls.

An eyesore with cracked, broken or boarded up windows 

An eyesore with hallways so tainted with mold, asbestos and lead that the school system has deemed it too dangerous to allow city staff to enter, according to an official.

An eyesore that has become a magnet for homeless and vermin like a wolf-like canine that some call the “resident coyote.”

All thanks to the Broward County School Board. 

On July 3, 2007 the school system finally asked for and received permission from the Florida Department of Education to tear down the decaying school.

That’s as far as it went. 

Since 2007, nothing. 

Browardbeat tried to ask School Board member Ann Murray about the former school which lies in her district.

She didn’t return our phone call. 

Maybe Murray doesn’t want to discuss why the school has not been torn down during the 11 years that she has represented the district.

Of course, Murray is the same Board member who sent an assistant to a recent meeting on old Olsen Middle.  

For years the school system’s staff complained that they don’t have the money to demolish the school. 

But 30 years of not having enough money?

Give me a break!

No, give the residents of Dania Beach a break. 

10 Responses to “Abandoned School Rotting For Decades But Broward School Board Does Nothing”

  1. FormerSBBC says:

    Should have voted for Silvernale. Murray is a do-nothing. Congrats.

  2. Triptrey says:

    The picture of leadership

  3. Pat Chukerman says:

    It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Let’s skip the disaster and get rid of this dangerous eyesore

  4. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Well, who have the citizend been voting for since the school was SET A DRIFT? I must say I AM BEYOND DUMBSTRUCK that voters in Douth Florida would let a school set unused n abandoned like this. BUT OF COURSE FORT LAUDERDALE WASTED MILLIONS OVER YEARS DURING THE SOUTH SIDE SCHOOL RENOVATION. LOOK THE PROBLEMS HAVE A SIMPLE SOLUTION: ELECT INTELLIGENT, HONEST PEOPLE TO OFFICE!
    By the way WHAT DID WALTER DUKE JR when he was Mayor or TIM RYAN (my County Commissioner) do sbout this? BY THE WAY, I know in 7 years I have NEVER SEEN TIM RYAN in my neighborhood in his District at a Public Event AND NONE OF MY NEIGHBORS HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF HIM!

  5. What happens in Dania stays in Dania says:

    If only the “leadership” of Dania could be trusted to turn the eyesore of the old building into an open space for people to enjoy! Dania Beach seems hellbent on turning every available piece of land into a hotel.

    As to the Count’s question about Walter Duke and Tim Ryan and their devotion to public service: Walter who?? Tim who?? could be the answers from the general public. However, many developers know them well.

  6. Tiffany Herbert says:

    This is a result of horrible governance at the SchoolBoardover a generation or more. The candidates for School Board are largely women who did nothing before wining or were part of the education establishment. There are no new ideas and nobody willing to stand up to administrators.

    A lot could be fixed by holding principals and administrators responsible for their failures. We should not just shuffle them from school to school, but fire them like other industries. Employment by the system should not be an automatic lifetime job.

    School Board members also should have a term limit of two terms. Get rid of dead wood like Murray.

  7. Chaz Stevens, Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King says:


    Will you kindly enable HTML formatting for Count Chocula?

    I’m thinking if he had the ability to shout using a 144 pt. font face, he’d lower his anxiety by a factor of 3x.

    Also, RED ON A YELLOW BACKGROUND, the Comic Sans font, and maybe a dual-byte character system … say like BIG5 or old-school Kanji.

    It’s like the grumpy old dude yelling at kids walking on his grass.

  8. native Floridian says:

    Dear What Happens in Dania: This is school board property. You can blame it on a state rep or city officials, but you’re blaming the wrong folks. I live near this school. This is a dangerous situation that needs to be addressed.

  9. right wing says:

    occasionally i’ll watch their Wednesday meetings on becon. theyre too busy touting their accomplishments, or hiring “specialists” to put out the pr drivel on social network.but a dilapidated school is a very messy subject, especially when the public at large gets wind of of it. so expect it to be swept under the rug continuously.

  10. Marianne McCoy says:

    If it wasn’t loaded with asbestos and lead it would already be gone.


    The school system built the school with asbestos and lead. It should remove those substances, as it has done at other facilities.