Thursday, June 28, 2007

Save Those Old Schools

For the last forty years the National Council of Facility Planners has been encouraging school districts to destroy old schools and build bigger, new ones away from the neighborhoods.

This course is changing as they have joined with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and now urging for the schools to be maintained and renovated.

They gave an example of Carl Schurz High School in Chicago. It was built in 1908 and by the mid-90s the beautiful Prairie-style structure was in such a state of disrepair that plans were made to destroy it. It is still in use.

I taught for 31 years at John T. Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Il. One part of it, the fine arts wing, was the original Round Lake school and constructed in 1908. Other large additions were made in the 50s and 60s. We moved to a new, definitely bland building in 2004 and the building sat vacant ever since. They are now renovating it, but unfortunately, razed the original part. At least the main part is still there.

Some of the old school buildings are definitely beautiful and deserve to remain standing. If not used for schools, they could become a village center, or small stores.

I graduated from Palatine High School in 1969. When the new school was built, part of the old one was knocked down, but part of it is used today as village offices.

Let's Keep Those Old Schools with Significant History or Architecture. RoadDog

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