Green school all or nothing

Published 11:05 am Thursday, May 28, 2009

Officials with the Green School Board in Franklin Furnace face a tough decision about the future of its primary education facility.

Structurally, the building has lots of problems and has been determined to be essentially unfit for occupancy.

One thing complicating matters is that this building is often used for community activities, sporting events and other functions.

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That needs to stop now.

The building shouldn’t be used at all. If it isn’t 100 percent safe for students, it shouldn’t be considered safe for the community.

The board needs to make a clear evaluation to determine what should be done with this building.

Of course, student safety should be the highest concern. With tentative plans to shuffle classroom space in the elementary building and use some modular trailers, it appears the district is on top of this.

But that same level of consideration needs to be put forth when it comes to analyzing the community impact.

Superintendent Ron Lindsey has said that it would be a great detriment to Franklin Furnace residents if they lose access to the gymnasium at the school, which just happens to be the part of the structure that is in the worst shape.

This building should be looked at as an all-or-nothing proposition.

Either the district invests the money to make significant repairs to the structure to make it safe for students and the community or the facility’s doors are closed for the last time.

Regardless, the state has to look at its school building funding system that puts a district like Green at a huge disadvantage because of tax abatements and incentives for the industry that is there.

Green Primary may have seen its last students but officials need to work on a clear plan for its future.