The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Letters

February 5, 2014

Unite as Green Dragons

— I live in the borough.

I am a 1988 graduate of Lewisburg Area High School.

I have two kids attending school in the district.

And … I am fully supportive of a new high school on Newman Road.

Why?

I believe in Lewisburg and the quality of its educational system, but I feel we are very much at risk for falling behind. I’ve heard a lot about the economic vitality of our downtown. Is it realistic to even consider that this fight is for a mere 44 walkers (the current number of high school students living within the borough)? And is it realistic to believe that our downtown businesses are dependent on these 44 young people who live in the borough?

What if you factor in all the Linntown students who walk to the high school? Do you really think that they are heading into the downtown to spend time/money after a day at school? Consider this: Redevelopment of the current high school site opens the doors for true sustainable economic growth for the borough and beyond. What if the site became a YMCA, a cultural/arts center or other community-based facility? That allows the audience and benefactors to be a full range of ages and demographics — bringing true economic growth to the ’Burg.

Are we really placing the economic and cultural vitality of the downtown on the backs of 44 students?

I am in love with our downtown and how it’s evolved since I first moved to the ’Burg back in the 1970s and returned with my own family five years ago. But keeping our high school in town just doesn’t make sense, or add up to dollars and cents.

Don’t you want peace of mind?

Isn’t it peace of mind to build a destination that can deliver the resources that will allow us to remain competitive educationally to prepare our precious youngsters for their life ahead without having to go through this exercise again in a few years? Isn’t it peace of mind knowing that during the new construction, the educational process will be uninhibited by noise, dust and other distractions? Isn’t it peace of mind knowing that the new school will be a permanent fix, not a Band-Aid like refurbishing a land-locked property that will take just as much to fix up as it will a new, larger, state-of-the-art high school?

These are all points that Dr. DiRocco made so eloquently at a recent board meeting and I encourage everyone to review his truths about the new high school to fully realize the seriousness of this situation and how we are hurting our children, their safety and even their future by not building the school on Newman Road. You can do so by visiting the school district website at www.lasd.us.

If you think about it, we can have it both as residents of Lewisburg. We can have a school that will fully prepare our children in a facility that we will not outgrow in just a few mere years. At the same time, we can savor the charm of a wonderful downtown that is sustained not by a few youngsters, but the parents, community members and Bucknellians who visit throughout the week and enjoy all that it has to offer.

I am asking that our community trust our elected school board and the thorough investigation into their decision — and that we unite as Green Dragons for the sake of our children.

Marcy Marshall,

Lewisburg

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