School open houses will let public decide

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2005

Across the city of Ironton and beyond, one question has surfaced as the hottest topic: Should Ironton High School be saved?

The answer to that question likely will be different for each individual because people value things differently. Some people place high importance on tradition and nostalgia while others look forward to change and what they see as progress.

Regardless of where you fall on the debate, we urge each and every taxpayer and voter in the city to take advantage of three upcoming open houses and see with their own eyes the problems facing Ironton High School.

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Three open houses are planned to allow the public to tour the high school and see first-hand its condition before they are asked to decide on the tax levy. These funds would be needed to complete the district's plans to build a new consolidated elementary school, new middle school and a new high school.

School officials are asking the public to approve $18 million in bonds to pay for the local share of the project. The local monies will be matched with $30.28 million from the state, for a total cost of $48.28 million.

Before heading to the polls Nov. 8, we encourage every taxpayer to take advantage of this opportunity. The open houses will be 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 24; 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 8.

The building is certainly in need of either massive renovations or complete replacement to reach even the most moderate of standards. But don't believe us, go see for yourself. Don't believe school officials when they tell you how bad the building smells or how the asbestos plaster just flakes off the walls. Go see it with your own eyes.

And don't believe the groups of concerned citizens that say the building can and should be saved for historic reasons. Go see for yourself and make up your own mind.

The issue will continue be a hot topic for the remaining months before the election and for the 28 years it would take to repay the bond levy if approved. It is vital to the city's future that residents take full advantage of all opportunities to arm themselves with knowledge.

By investing a few hours on a Saturday or in the evening, voters can make sure they make the right decision for the city's children and grandchildren.