Yesterday, the second of two very old elementary schools, was demolished in my hometown. The reaction was a mixture of nostalgia, sadness, curiosity and angst. It’s understandable. Both schools have been a part of the history of Coshocton for many, many years.
If you are (or were) from Coshocton, I understand the feelings. I personally attended both schools at one time. I understand some need to keep hold of things that we remember and not have them change. I don’t begrudge you your feelings.
Where I did take exception is when I hear that this is happening because “the town is dying.” So here are just a few key points to remember…
1) New School: Please keep in mind the reason we are tearing these schools down is that we just built a beautiful brand new school. This is not the act of a dying town.
2) Good For the Community: Their tear down, though emotionally painful, is WAY better for the community. It’s better to have these properties as greenspace than to have them as abandoned eyesores in the middle of town.
3) New Land: Now these properties can be developed. One of the challenges in a small town like ours is the availability of new land. Now, potentially, we have some!
4) Not For Re-purposing: I heard many voices that “someone” should have used those buildings for something. No they shouldn’t have. These are being torn down for a reason. Besides (and this is an important point that no one seems to remember) they were put up for auction and no one bought them!
Again, I understand if you are sad because it reminds you of great memories of your childhood. I certainly can’t tell you how to feel. But as author Wayne Dyer says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
We need to change our outlook on this change. Though painful, this might be a good thing for the long term health of our community.