The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 23, 2014

How the dysfunctional building operates

For The Daily Item

— As the parent of a child currently enrolled in middle school in the Lewisburg Area School District, I have been following the debate over the pending new Lewisburg Area High School with great interest. Themes that continue to prevail are that walkability and location is somehow the cornerstone to our children’s education.

Having had the privilege to work within the high school, I will be the first to say that I love the current school. I love the old bones, I love the feel of the historic building, and yes I love the location. Having said that, the opportunity to walk its halls within a normal school day has opened my eyes to how dysfunctional the building actually operates.

Yes, children can learn within a cramped classroom, which is good enough of a reason for a new school, but there are many other aspects of the facility that our children need to improve their education. All that anyone would need to do is to walk into the art room (that doubles as a Spanish classroom) during a class. Many students are not given the opportunities to experience all that teachers have to offer because they simply do not have the space to provide the equipment for students who want to learn. That is just one very small example. This scenario is played out over and over again throughout the school in areas too numerous to mention.

The proximity to Bucknell also appears to be a sticking point for some advocating the downtown high school location, but what I see is a tremendous opportunity at the Newman Road location for our high school students to be mentors to their younger counterparts at the now existing Kelly Elementary School. Students from both schools would be on the winning end of that scenario.

Any changes that could be made to the existing school would never be adequate. The school is land-locked with already inadequate parking and green space — that footprint cannot be changed. Lastly, The Lewisburg Area School District is not confined to just the borough of Lewisburg. It is a broad reaching district and needs to educate all of its students in a facility deserving of our future leaders.

Carolyn Daniloff,