DETROIT (AP) – Detroit is starting demolition of a vacant school as part of a broader effort to eliminate such blighted buildings from the city.

The mayor’s office says contractors on Tuesday begin demolition of the shuttered Houghten Elementary School, one of four former public schools the city is tearing down this year.

READ MORE: State Fears Confusion After Michigan Restaurant Wins In Dining Ban Case

The school has been vacant since 2009 and area residents have wanted it torn down for years. A youth development center is located across the street.

READ MORE: MSU Police Find Body That Is Believed To Be Brendan Santo In Red Cedar River

The Detroit Public Schools district has closed many schools over the years amid declining enrollment. Last year, the city demolished four former schools and secured dozens more closed school buildings that were deemed salvageable.

The city has worked for years to deal with vacant homes and buildings, and thousands of them have been razed.

MORE NEWS: Michigan Prisons Follows CDC, Allows COVID-Positive Staff To Work After 5 Days With Mild Symptoms

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.