Group gaining steam in plan to save high school

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 30, 2005

They have a name and now they're planning their course of action.

Save Our Schools (SOS) committee, the grass roots organization aimed at saving Ironton High School, had its organizational meeting last week and met again Thursday.

Group organizer Mark McCown said 25 people attended the meeting. Another dozen or so people contacted him and other members and said while they could not attend last Thursday's meeting, they want to be involved in the group anyway.

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"Usually (in such groups) you only get a few people who want to be actively involved in a political action committee," McCown said. "I'm very pleased with the number of people who want to participate."

McCown said still other people have said they support the effort to save the old high school but have not yet agreed to formally join the organization.

SOS members are now passing a petition asking the Ironton Board of Education to reconsider its position on the proposed school bond issue and levy. Those who sign the petition must pledge to vote against any proposal to tear down the high school and pledge as well to support any levy that would include saving the high school.

"We want people to understand we are not anti-levy," McCown said. "We just believe they (school officials) have chosen the wrong levy."

SOS members contend the old building has architectural and historical significance and should be renovated for use by future generations of Irontonians. They dispute claims that it would cost too much to renovate it.

"All the problems they're complaining about, the leaking roof, the gas odor and bad wiring, the lack of a fire suppression system, these are all things that can be corrected through renovation and this was according to their own architect," McCown said.