Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Saving the School House, an Update

Last night's City Council meeting was filled with public commentary about the Old School House building on the corner of Pine and Third, in Old Sherwood Town.

It used to look like this.


Now it looks like this (well, it did last winter anyway).

It's been really frustrating for us to stand up and demand the City save something that isn't actually there.

The man in charge of tearing things down and building things up in Old Sherwood Town is Jim Patterson of the City of Sherwood. After the Public Comment segment of the meeting ended, Patterson went out of his way to explain that the City wants to put the School House back the way it was in the earlier photograph. He's even been talking to the Sherwood School District about , you know, making it a genuine school house again, with real live kids and everything. "Let's never forget who we were." is Patterson's motto. At least one private party is interested in Patterson's concept as well.

I think it was Picasso who said Every Act of Creation is Also an Act of Destruction. Is the City our Picasso now?

23 comments:

Leo said...

OK, dumb question time: is the idea to make the school building two stories again?

Sherwoodian said...

Three stories actually.

Anonymous said...

Four, if you count the attic and belltower and the lower, basement floor.

Sherwoodian said...

Or whatever. The real question is whether or not the City of Sherwood really understands how important history is and how much the people want to save it. An occasional City employee like Patterson may get it, but what happens if he finds a job somewhere else? Do we have to explain it all all over again!?

Leo said...

Speaking of school buildings, I have been wondering what is going to happen to Hopkins and SMS when the new schools are completed for the Fall of '09. Will we be having similar discussions over those schools? Are they going to remain in use?

Jaycee said...

We should have "similar discussions" about any historic property that's in jeopardy because of the Almighty Dollar. Hopkins school possesses a piece of the old school house (the section with the sign on it). SMS was built, at least partly, as a Works Progress Administration project during the Roosevelt Administration. It's triangular frontispiece was deliberately replicated in our Highway 99 shopping center buildings (A Class Act!).

As for the impact of the current school construction, Lilly Morgan is our best source of information.

Anonymous said...

I think the building should be preserved as it stands, designated historic and offer community craft classes within it's walls...weaving, knitting, jewelry making, ceramics. The revenues from class fees could pay for upkeep, perhaps even fund other programs...If you wait to have the building "returned" to it's former self, nothing will ever come of it because of the cost to do it. Probable, not possible. I have long thought it should be refurbished to maintain its character and be used for community activities that are art-related.

Jim Patterson said...

I wanted to thank Clyde List, June Reynolds, Gene Stewart, Odge Gribble, Irene Baker and Patti Barrow for taking the time during the September 17th Council meeting to share their perspective on the Old School property during citizen comments. City staff and elected officals understand and value the importance of our history. I live in this community and care a great deal about preserving our character and unique history. The challenge we face is striking a balance in continuing to grow while at the same time protecting what makes Sherwood a special place to live, work and raise a family. We can get a lot more accomplished working together to resolve differences than we can standing on opposite sides of issues and slinging arrows from our quiver! Thanks again to the advocates for preserving and protecting our communities history in coming forward to express their concerns.

Anonymous said...

The old Hopkins School and SMS will still be around as every one of the schools (6 in total) will be filled to capacity in 2009. This is the result of all of the subdivisions in Sherwood. Even though we are adding 12 classrooms to the high School, they will be all filled by the time they are built!

jaycee said...

A few years ago, I heard Mr. Patterson explain the importance of having something inspiring to look at when you sight down a long city street like Pine Street. He had a word for it but I can't remember what it was.

That's what the Old School House does. It inspires us from a distance, like the Capitol dome or the Lincoln Memorial does in D.C.

I think that's what people want to save. The inpiration it gives us.

Leo said...

Are there any commercial uses that could be made of the old schoolhouse that would serve the dual purpose of preserving it as well as funding its maintenance? Would it make sense to subdivide the interior into office spaces and attempt to attract professional businesses to the space?

jaycee said...

Lilly Morgan has been pursuing that very question. She's a regular contributer to this blog. In the meantime, why don't you suggest something? What do you think would go well with that corner?

Leo said...

Well, there are lawyers and accountants nearby, so perhaps more of that type of business.

What I think would be really cool would be to attract something else, though, something relating to software and consulting, but that could be because that's the type of work I do so it is what I know. What I like about the business is that it is growing and will continue to grow for a long time, and it is something that could be a good facet on a solid core of local, productive businesses. Sherwood could be known as (among other things) "the place where they make software" just like it used to be "the place where they make bricks."

Lilly Morgen said...

I hope that there will be room for all the one-room schoolhouse furnishings we have sitting in the Smock House!--Lilly Morgen

Anonymous said...

Think of the Old Schoolhouse as a place.
Think of place as a context to learning.
I hope that the committee that is mulling over this project will look at this web site and use these ideas in a context towards community development.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim Patterson,
I think you should build up from the schoolhouse. If not, use the old picture of the schoolhouse from when there were three stories
and use that to rebuild a replica
using original pieces from the original schoolhouse. Maybe you could figure out a way to make it a national sight of Sherwood and preserve it so no one can tear it
down.
4th grade student from Archer Glen Elementary School.

Dasiy said...

Hi, I am in Mrs.Z's 4th grade class at Archer Glen elementry and 4 kids in my class decided to save the schoolhouse, so all of us wrote letters to the mayor and city council(yes, 9 year olds assigned homework)saying,knock it down, rebuild(the way it looked in 1911, 2 stories high with bell)and turn the schoolhouse into a museum like the Morback house. After all, we could not save the school. June , you know me. I was at the camp in July.( hint: I was the only one that sewed a GREEN ROBIN HOOD HAT)p.s Mr.jim patteronson, I am totally on your side.
Okay, I'm done.

Lilly Morgen said...

Bravo, Daisy!
I love a girl that can sew! Thank you for doing your civic duty to help our community. I hope the rest of the kids tell us what they think. what else should we save in Sherwood? What else should we improve?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mayor Mays and Members of City Council,

I'm also a 4th grader in Mrs's Z's class,at Archer Glen Elemantry.I think you should save the old school house. ( well part of the things that are savable.) You could turn it into a art museam or a sciense museam...etc.
I'd say that it would be a historical landmark. It is the only part of Old Town that is alot of history. It's been here since 1911. It is VERY important to me if we save the school house and turn into it's original in 1911. Thank you for your time.

4th grader at Archer Glen age 9

Jim Patterson said...

I wanted the kids from Archer Glen and others in Sherwood that have posted comments on this blog to know that I hear your voices! It is great to know that young people are interested in their local government and are passionate about preserving our communities character and charm. Thank you all for your comments and for your support.

Lilly Morgen said...

I think these kids should come up with some drawings and list of ideas of what they would like to see at the Old Schoolhouse. Whether it is a place or a site,I can see that there is a context to learning. Thank you 4th graders for all your coments I look forward to more ideas!

Lilly Morgen said...

I just noticed on Sunday that the columns on the porch of the Old Schoolhouse are mirrored on the JC Hopkins Grade School just down the street. The architect probably did that on purpose to tie the two buildings together. That is a sign cultural awareness.

Lilly Morgen said...

OK, Kidos!! Tuesday 3:30 to 4:00 be in front of the Old Sherwood Schoolhouse for a farewell party! We need everyone there! WEar your buttons proudly!!! We want people to know that we want them to "PUT IT BACK"

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