To the editor:

The patrons of 5J school district have spoken twice. They will not spend over twenty million dollars to cover up prime farm land on the outskirts of town with a new middle school. They will fund a reasonable upgrade or remodel to existing facilities. I suggest the pros and cons bury the hatchet, get together and work out a new alternative that we all can support.

The folks hired to plan the alternatives for the school board to consider stated they were confined to a very narrow description of anticipated needs. The Central Building has lots of space, a great auditorium and is an architectural icon. Additional real estate may be available and has anyone checked on the possibility of closing Washington street? The Helen Stack Building, except for the gym, may or may not be viable, but it could be used while construction is progressing.

Yes, Baker is growing and I am certainly not qualified to comment on any detail of the above. But one can't help wondering about the magnitude of educational needs when there presently are nearly 800 fewer students attending 5J schools than when I served on the board many years ago.

Dan Warnock

Baker City