Old buildings don't work now

October 29, 2007 11:00 pm

To the editor:

I am a retired widow, living on limited income while suffering from multiple sclerosis. I have never been a mother. I grew up in Baker City and attended the Central and Stack buildings. This personal information is given as background to why I encourage all citizens to vote for the new Middle School.

Many reasons have been given as to why we should not build a new school. Regardless of the reasons, all have really been excuses. Old buildings need to be remodeled or replaced. These buildings are very old.

Remodeling the Middle School buildings has been looked at. Remodeling is vastly more expensive than building a new school. Mr. Burgess recently recommended remodeling the Central building — with no gym. That sounds sort of like buying a recently restored old car — with no engine. It doesn't work.

Look around Baker City at heavily used buildings. The old hospital on Fourth Street was replaced with a new hospital back in the 1970s. Safeway and Albertsons have both been in and out of buildings and into new ones since either the Central or Stack buildings were built. Even the new senior center off of Cedar replaced a building built decades after either school was built. Why were these buildings not simply continually used for their original purposes or extensively remodeled? Because they didn't fit the current needs of the occupants. The old Middle School buildings no longer meet the needs of our youth, either.

If use doesn't persuade you to vote for the new school, then vote for it for a selfish reason. Look at our doctors. Many are aging and will likely retire in the next few years. There is a shortage of doctors nationwide and we must compete with other locations for doctors. Stroll through the Central and Stack buildings with the eye of a new doctor and his or her spouse as they determine if they want to move here and have their children attend school in these buildings. Scary thought, isn't it?

So join with me and vote for the new Middle School.

Pattie Hanson

Baker City