by Max Brantley
The board of the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf has sent an eviction notice to the Arkansas Easter Seals Society and other occupants of the former Easter Seals training center at the east end of Lee Avenue across a wooded draw from the campus of the schools.
The Board voted June 21 to hold Easter Seals in violation of a long-term land lease signed in 1997 because it no longer provides services to school children, a condition of the lease. Easter Seals vacated the building for new quarters long ago. It has since tried to recoup some money from the aging structure by selling the building and transferring the land lease. Neighbors in the otherwise residential neighborhood oppose use of the building for commercial purposes and say it is also a hazard because of asbestos. Easter Seals has continued to lease some office space in the building.
The latest move seems likely to send the dispute to court, probably the best resolution for a long-festering neighborhood controversy.
UPDATE: Or maybe this will be resolved quietly. Neighbors report trucks appeared at the building today and began hauling items, from boxes to wheel chairs, out of storage at the building.