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Split Decision

by Jaime Myslik and Chris Daponte




Former Erin school to be demolished

Out with the old ...

In a perfect world, important infrastructure like schools would last forever. But that’s just not realistic.

I understand why some residents would be upset at the demise of the old Erin Public School. It has been a local landmark for almost a century, with many of those still living in the municipality able to call themselves former students.

Years after it closed as a school, the late Patrick Suessmuth had the foresight to use a portion of the building as the headquarters for Erin Hoops and Main Place, which he directed. A generation of Erin kids learned to play basketball there and/or took part in a variety of activities after school, on school breaks and PA Days.

So I understand the connection many people in the community have with the building. Any place that played a prominent role in one’s formative years is sure to be regarded as special.

But, as much as we don’t like to acknowledge it, time moves on and things change.

The fact is, in recent years the building has become somewhat of an eyesore along the village’s main street. It’s regularly targeted by trespassers and vandals and it is in such a state of disrepair that bringing it back to life is now just a pipe dream.

What’s happened to the building in recent years is a shame, and a black mark on its proud heritage in the village.

It’s time to say goodbye, move on and usher in a new era in Erin.

– Chris


VS.


Tearing down history

Oops, there goes another one.

It looks like the old Erin Public School will be destroyed come fall.

And it’s sad, really.

Whenever I see an abandoned building I find myself wondering when - and why - the structure went from having meaning to being the place that everyone overlooks.

When does it go from being functional to having broken windows and holes in the floor?

In a society where it’s often thought that newer is better, a lot of these older buildings are overlooked and allowed to become rundown.

One of the most upsetting aspects of the Erin Public School demolition is that everyone knows when the beautiful old building became “abandoned.” It was in 2000, when the school moved to a new location down the road.

Sure, it may not have been suitable or viable for educational purposes anymore and when repairs are sometimes neglected, buildings suffer. But imagine what could have happened if someone had stepped in at that time and said, “Hey, I see the history, I see the potential. I’m going to do something with this. I’m going to make this building functional again.”

It could have been beautiful, but the decision needed to be made in 2000, before the building fell into further disrepair.

While shiny and new has its place, it will be years before the new buildings have half the character and the comfort of the 1924 landmark.

– Jaime

Vol 50 Issue 31

 
 

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