(thank you note to Ms. Payne)|
From: Sherry Sharp
To: Brenda Payne
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 1:30 PM
Subject: Thanks for the tour! :)
Hi, Ms. Payne,
I just wanted to thank you again for your most hospitable tour yesterday. You were so patient with us, and informative.
It was good for us to see the areas that are being discussed. Of course, short of engineering reports, etc, it certainly doesn't look like it's ready for the wrecking ball! We have to keep fighting!
If you would, please print up the petition at my website, http://lumoto.com/southpark You'll find two styles there, one is for an individual, and the other one is a list type that will accommodate several signatures on one page. Use whichever is convenient, or both. Also, please encourage folks to write letters. There is a link in the Letters section of the page to several officials' email addresses. We must make them hear us!
I also posted the link to the pictures on the website, as well.
Thanks again so much; and it was very, very nice meeting you.
Sherry Moyer Sharp (Class of '65)
(no pictures were taken this tour. The purpose of the tour was to hopefully entice Lamar Tech into acquiring SP)|
From: Sherry Sharp
Date: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 9:57 PM
Subject: recap of tour of South Park today
Well, folks, we had the tour as planned at 4:00. The principal of SP, Mr. Norris, was our guide. Before Dr. Szuch got there, Norris told us he was in favor of a new school, tried to tell us how bad the termites and mice/rats problems are. I commented that all buildings have these problems and they have to be dealt with. Things weren't getting off on a good start!
Soon after that, Dr. Szuch arrived and we started the tour. Those present, besides Mr Norris and Dr. Szuch were Jim Rich, president of the Chamber of Commerce; four men from BISD maintenance - one was the head guy, and I don't remember the others' positions or their names. Sorry. I'm sure Jack will know their names if you want to find out. Then there was Miriam and Jack and myself.
We did a walk-through, auditorium, third floor, band hall, Home Ec Cottage, gym, library, which took about an hour, then back to 2nd floor where we stood in front of the doors. Mr. Norris and the maintenance men left, and Dr. Szuch, Jim Rich, Miriam, Jack, and myself hung around for about another hour, both brainstorming and also basically just chatting about some unrelated topics. Bottom line, Dr. Szuch cannot use the school. All his needs are for industrial training and his requirements for space and access for huge pieces of equipment, bays for ambulances, triage, even parking, all kinds of things that would never be satisfied by the layout of SP and at the same time leave her intact. He has no need for classrooms, and suggested perhaps an adult education facility.
Jim said we could have a meeting with Dr. Thomas, he could arrange it, but we would need to offer a useable solution of what to do with the school. The board is looking to US to figure out what to do with it!! He feels the community needs a new school to attract people to move there he says.
I spoke up and told him that a new school will not bring people into the community. For starters, there is no convenient shopping for SP residents. Only one grocery store, or people have to drive all the way out to the mall area for their shopping needs. More commerce would even help Lamar and the students. I blurted out further that the community needs the police to do their job and make it safe. The kids need to be taught about the history and community pride and made to feel a part of it. I even surmised, admitting I had no figures to back it up, that I felt very confident that the engineering reports were padded and that with just half the money of a new school, and cost of the land, that SP could be restored to be a gorgeous building. Jack tried to make them realize the termite problems are minimal and had been repaired from what is reported in the engineering reports.
They're talking about using part of Alice Keith Park to build the new school, mostly the site where the old Bunkner Children's Home was, but part of the main grounds of the park as well. That idea is not acceptable to me! Not only are they taking away the school from South Park, but now our park too!! BISD has no plans for SP if they can get the land and build. They want us to come up with something! Only if they can't get the land will they resort to rebuilding our school and "saving what they can," they promise! But after seeing the front wall of the old Alice Keith Pool, still standing proudly in the park, we can just image what they would save!!!
Miriam suggested that the Admin move into SP and use the Admin building for a school. Good idea!! The admin is in the end of town where they need more classrooms! But Jim said the board members had already been propositioned with the idea of moving downtown and they had refused to do that. So, scratch that idea.
The ONLY plan there is that will work for everybody is to restore SP -- not build a new school!! -- and continue to use SP as a school. Nobody else would want SP or have any use for it. What other function could it possibly have that would be a viable solution? And no, not a museum.
Somehow, we have to convince Dr. Thomas that repairing and using the school is the ONLY solution for everybody. 3,000 names on our petition says the community wants to keep the school as a school and would vote against the bond issue. And the school board and city sure don't want that to happen.
Well, that's all I know. It's depressing. This isn't the best recap of the meeting/tour, but it's the best I can do. Put your thinking caps on and try to come up with reasonable, business-minded, convincing arguments to persuade Dr. Thomas that there is ONLY ONE SOLUTION! And don't procrastinate about it. We're about out of time!
The next scheduled event it the school board meeting on the 20th when Miriam present the rest of our petitions and will make our final plea before the Board.