Photo © Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
- Location Genre:State School / Developmental Center
- Age:97 years
- Demo / Renovated:N/A
- Decaying for:24 years
- Last Known Status:Abandoned
Founded in 1917, this state training school consisted of 87 buildings on a sprawling 1,000 acre campus. According to the school's 1968-1969 Annual Report, the superintendent described the facility in the following words: "Although [Mesa] primarily serves the mentally retarded, it contains every type of exceptional child and adult, except the gifted, in its population." Current published material about the school mainly consists of filed lawsuits.
In 1978, an association for the mentally disabled sued the hospital, claiming they have violated the client's 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th and 11th amendment rights and sections of the federal Social Security, Developmental Disabilities and Rehabilitation Acts. An agreement was reached, one of the parameters was to reduce the population of the facility from its 1,800 residents.
Another court case was filed and won in 1985 by a woman who claimed to have been committed to the training school for 42 years and released without reason for either action. The charges consisted of the deprivation of her human rights and slavery, as she attested to having been beaten, fed bread and water, and forced to work night shifts in the laundry room.
The facility eventually closed 1990. A university now uses many of the old buildings, as well as storing equipment in the still abandoned ones.