Schools should be saved

To the Editor,

Supermarkets, department stores and convenience stores remodel about every five years because marketers realize their clientele have short attention spans. So to keep them loyal to their brand or product they repackage themselves. This trend has carried over to the design and manufacture of most consumer products. Therefore, they are not produced to last long.

Unlike the Middle Ages, when skilled craftsmen were artisans who built cathedrals that were expected to last indefinitely, today we build, for example, football stadiums knowing they will be demolished in 25 years. Similarly, in the 30s, 40s and 50s, we built schools, like cathedrals, to last for hundreds of years. Not so in the 60s and on. Weir High is a good example. It started deteriorating before the paint was dry. However, Dunbar, Cove, Liberty and Broadview, all built before the dawning of the Aquarian age of short-attention-spans were built like cathedrals. Dunbar and Cove had 2-foot-thick walls; two wyths of brick sandwiching two wyths of terracotta tile filled with grout. The contractor demolishing Cove had a devil of a time destroying it.

What is my point? It is a crime to destroy buildings that were built with such care, quality and at such an enormous expense because we convince ourselves we need something more, better or newer. Architects have the ability to renovate and modernize at half the cost, but it is easier and more profitable for everyone concerned to build new, except of course, for those paying.

Broadview is slated to be demolished because our school authority has a limited view and imagination. It is easier to tear it down and be done with it as opposed to exploring more mature options. And it is a sin if not a crime. Millions of dollars over the years have been invested in Broadview and Liberty through the continuing levy funding that we vote on every five years. The bond for their new gymnasiums in the 80s was paid off not long ago. Broadview is a viable structure that if left standing will still be standing after its replacement is replaced! And we want to destroy this investment simply because it is convenient! That is what short attention span is all about; we are too lazy to work to find better solutions to our problems, we want the convenience of the quick fix!

Blaise Hogan