The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 3, 2006

A former Carlisle teacher writes

To the Editor:

Destroy a part of Carlisle's history? I certainly hope not. It is my firm belief that everything possible should be done to save the Highland School Building.

In the rush to have the new and the best of today's world, we sometimes cannot see the value of our past. Think of how many children have had a major part of their learning take place in the Highland School Building. Once the past has been reduced to rubble, it is gone forever.

Thank you for your consideration.

Bert Porter
Former Highland School teacher
Lenexa, Kansas

Carlisle needs new school buildings now

To the Editor:

Next year my youngest daughter will start school in a derelict building where teachers put tarpaulins over their desks every evening "just in case it rains." Part of the middle school is housed in a building that is so outdated many of us would never consider going to work in it. The elementary school children learn art in a changing room and music in a corridor. Is this some third world country? No, it is Carlisle Public School.

In order to learn and work effectively you need a well-designed, properly lit, heated and ventilated environment regardless of your age. Continuing to send our children to school in outdated overcrowded buildings means that they will not achieve their true potential, nor will we be able to attract the best teachers, regardless of how much we pay them.

Carlisle needs a new school and our children require it now, not in five to ten years time, if and when the State gives us some funding. Modular classrooms are not an option as there is a shortage of them due to Hurricane Katrina. Renovating the buildings will be more expensive and disruptive than building the new addition proposed by the architects. Building costs are escalating due to the necessary rebuilding from recent global disasters and the construction boom in China. The sooner we build, the better educated our children will be, and the cheaper it will be for the town.

Carlisle School is in a crisis and it is time for some "out of box" thinking on how we are going to finance the rebuilding. If we continue with the attitude of "ignore the problem and it won't cost us anything," we will all lose. The town and its residents need to prioritize funding the rebuilding of the school into a well designed community campus. We cannot afford to focus on the fate of a historic building that was effectively abandoned decades ago, until after we have rebuilt this school, funded the new high school, and built affordable housing.

Debbie Bentley RIBA Assoc. AIA
Heald Road

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito