Old schools matter
In response to the March 2 letter “Renovate old schools”: I concur that many facets of a school matter more than the bricks and mortar. However, I challenge the assertion that Martin Middle and Lacy Elementary were “perfectly sound” buildings.
As the teachers, students and parents who were in those schools daily would attest, restrooms, windows, roofs, HVAC, lighting, data and electrical systems were outdated, no longer met code and created many challenges for occupants. WCPSS retained the viable buildings on these two sites, didn’t demolish historically significant buildings and saved money by keeping students onsite during construction.
WCPSS has renovated a number of historically significant schools over the last 15 years, including Olds, Underwood, Washington, Daniels and Ligon.
To answer the question, “Why not reuse vacant big box stores?” just look around the county at the grocery store, the two manufacturing plants and the office building that WCPSS has converted to schools. They are not ideal school facilities, but these are speedy, efficient options when the number of new students enrolling in WCPSS each year is larger than the total enrollment of most school systems across the United States.