There are buildings that shouldn’t be torn down. There are people who don’t understand that.
When I look at pictures of Dayton from 1950, I realize that much of our decline started with “urban renewal” of the early 1960s. I also know that Europeans laugh at what we call old, when they routinely still use buildings over 600 years old.
If you know a little about construction and craftsmanship- you know that when they say “they don’t build them like they used to” is an understatement. Even tearing down a grand building like the former Roosevelt takes more effort than the building of one of these new tilt-up, slap-together pieces of crud with a less than 50-year life expectancy.
The problem with Dayton Public Schools has been that they haven’t done the preventive maintenance to maintain what they had. That’s not the buildings fault.
I also don’t buy this “old buildings aren’t wired for new schools”- hello- wireless computers, anyone?
To believe this hooey that a school that was used by Stivers just 2 years ago, isn’t capable of being a school right now, is more hooey.
The fact that we’re even having this argument makes me wonder what construction company has someone on the take.
Commissioner Whaley can’t seem to take a stand on this either- from these two DDN stories:
Nan Whaley April 26
City Commissioner Nan Whaley said the desire of the commission is clear.
“I’m siding with the people in the neighborhood who want a school on the site,” Whaley said.
Nan Whaley July 8:
“Our No. 1 priority is building a school in the neighborhood and if that means taking Julienne down, that means taking Julienne down,” City Commissioner Nan Whaley said following a meeting on the topic with Mayor Rhine McLin and Dayton schools Superintendent Kurt Stanic.
Julienne supporter Marc Suda, president of the Five Oaks Neighborhood Improvement Association, said he expected commissioners to say as much, but he’s still hoping a compromise can be worked out for the 1926-era building at 325 Homewood Ave.
“Five Oaks definitely needs a school,” Suda said. “We also don’t want this national treasure torn down without considering every possibility.”
Look back at those pictures of Dayton from 1950- what we would give to have the seven theaters still downtown, bowling alleys, the Arcade, businesses, people living downtown. The way we killed it- tearing down the very fabric that made it work.
Underneath that dryvit facade on S. Ludlow, where the Board of Education resides in their $15-million-plus palace- is a building just as old as Julienne. Don’t tell me old buildings can’t have second lives, and don’t say that these new buildings are better than the old.
The reality is that a good teacher can teach in any room. And a good student- well, they study history and try to stop making the same mistakes. We don’t want to lose another piece of Dayton’s fabric, it’s time to have a real position Commissioner Whaley.