Archive for the ‘Newark Education’ Category

Lincoln Middle School Demolished. Progress Or Waste?

Lincoln Middle School In Newark, Ohio Demolished.

Was the Lincoln Middle School demolition wasteful or necessary for progress.

I recently noticed an article about the demolition of Lincoln Middle School in Newark, Ohio and it brought back recent memories of every other elementary school demolished in Newark. The school that I remember well is North Elementary on Deo Drive. For years before it’s demolition, voters were asked for funds for new windows, heating/cooling system, a new parking lot and more. After so many very expensive improvements, the school was demolished. It was a total waste and the land remains vacant years later.

The article in the local paper stated that the school was being demolished with no sales to the public because that would be labor intensive. The article never touched on the feelings of many that the demolition was just a waste in general. See all of those windows on the front of the school? They’re not that old. There were many contractors that enjoyed many projects maintaining this building recently. It’s frequently the same old story of recent major renovations, only to be thrown into a scrap pile.

The school board’s defense is that they must maintain the schools for the children and that all spending to do so is justified. They never know if they’ll get the money for new schools, so they must make sure that parking lots are perfect, state of the art heating/cooling systems are installed, and that the old structures get the utmost attention. They need these expenditures to use as justification for the new schools. “Look at how much these old buildings are costing us!”, is the claim right after the updates.

Joe Taxpayer first sees these high expenditures to maintain the old buildings. Then, he sees the massive campaigns in the news and the signs. Quite often, the “do it for the children” signs are in contractor’s yards, public employee yards, and in the politicians yards. Basically everyone that profits from the system is all for any new levy that comes about. After a levy is passed, the old schools are razed, then another levy comes out demanding more money to operate the new schools. Oddly, when requesting a levy for new schools, they always forget to include enough money to actually operate them.

To ad insult to injury, the old schools are frequently torn down. The school district always has an excuse. “If sold, they could become an eyesore as a commercial property.”, “The buildings are just unsafe and need to be torn down.”, etc. They gloss over the fact that they’ve ruined a viable commercial property and any of the profits that could have resulted in it’s sale.

My question is, where in Newark, Ohio has an old school that did survive turn into a nuisance? The few that I know about have remained nice properties used as churches and office buildings. These businesses have improved their neighborhoods. With this in mind, I have to wonder if the officials simply don’t want the embarrassment when the buildings prove to have value when the schools claim the buildings are dangerous.

If you buy the school district’s claims, keep voting for new schools. I don’t agree and I’m looking for ways to make them more accountable. Question the school district’s claims boldly! Many of us work and/or live in buildings in much worse condition than Lincoln, yet they’re telling us that it the building is worthless? That would mean that many other buildings that pay large amounts of taxes to support new schools are even more worthless!

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Licking County Library Expects 5% Cut.

Library books a thing of the past.

The Licking County Library in Newark, Ohio is now expecting a 5% decrease in funding from the State Of Ohio. That’s not good news, but considering the rumored 15% – 30% cuts, it’s better than expected. I think that there is much to learn from these cuts. The state is nearly broke, but yet libraries only received a 5% cut. There are many who will say that any cut at all is unacceptable and others who cannot understand why they were not cut more. It’s true, some operating costs are increasing, but libraries should be taking advantage of every technological advancement to lower their costs and prove their worth to the community.

How does a library prove their worth? In order to do this, it’s the public’s responsibility to remain informed. The library’s website informs well and they shouldn’t have to add additional costs from advertising. There are a few printing companies that enjoy their business and would like to persuade them to believe otherwise though. The vendors for the library need to realize that times are changing too.

The library’s role is changing to more of a center of education rather than just a place where knowledge is stored. The knowledge is now stored on computer networks all over the world. There’s less need for this. People need equipment to access it and instruction for the best uses of it. The Licking County Library has done a relatively good job, but they need to realize that the role of the library is changing.

I recently tried their e-book system. It was a confusing mess. The library’s name was not listed as a choice and the right answer happened to be a consortium they’re affiliated with. Once I finally found a book that I was interested in, there was a possible 2 month wait to read it! In today’s world, that’s not going to work. I found the book at Amazon for $10 and forgot about the troublesome library system.

I think that the library is going to play a larger role as a meeting place. There will always be books and periodicals, but not in the capacity that there once was. For example, I would never go to the library for a book on computer software. Once it reaches the library’s shelf, it’s out of date and worthless. The computer books they do buy are a waste of taxpayer dollars. There are other subjects that change just as fast. However, I would go to the library for a computer class or to listen to a speaker from the computer industry.

There will always be a need for a quiet place to study and the library can enhance this. Printers, copy machines, and other things that people may not have access too are great additions. There are many resources for job seekers that have proved to be a God send for those that desperately need them. It’s all about serving the community with a facility and staff that is trying to earn their keep.

I know, it’s sad to see the old ideal of what I library should be go, but I’d say that changing to stay relevant is much more important. Perhaps those wishing for a traditional library could form their own private library that emulates the days gone by.  For now, I think it would be wise for the library to either prove to the public that they need additional funding for the services they provide and prepare for continued cuts if they cannot maintain relevancy.

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