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The New School Building

The New School Building image
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As the new gramuiar school building is about to be erected, the history of the project may be inleresting to our readers. Last fall at the school meeting the matter was suddenly brought up without much notice having been given and, without the tax-payers generally understanding what was in the winil. It was proponed and put through with a rush. Most of the citizens heard of it after the motiou was passed, and many were strongly opposed toit, but t wasthen too late to reecind. Theu carne the question ot wbere it should be located. Sotne Wantod it on 8 lot by itself, so that the present grounds, which are really the only park the city OWM, should not be spoiled. Others agreed that it would be more conveniunt to be close to the High school building, and that the east side would uot only be handy, but also that when placed there it would Dot spoil the grounds the least. The teachers of the High school also unanimously favored tlie east side, for the reason that there it would be more useful to thein in their work. The argument for the east side was strengthened, morover, by the fact that there was more space there so that it could be placed fui Uier away from the old building and not cut off the light so mach. This matter ot light being no uniinportant one to a school-rooui when half the school yeur has short, cloudy days. But four of the school board were secured to vote for the north side, and although that was uot a majority of the Board, it was declared carried. Then came the next step to secure plans from architects. Several came in, and although there was an etfbrt made to shut out one man all were tinally allowed a chance. The committee seemed to have very little to do wirh it, as attempts were made to take it out of their hands and have the full Board act independent of any report. In fact a correspondent of a Detroit papar was informed by a member of the Board some two weeks ago what plan should be accepted, and it was 8 published. tío the lioard met, and the favorite architect was chosen, reardIflM of the tact that bis plans; were incomplete, and inferior in many pointe to at least two others. One architect proposed to gi vea bond tlmt the balldlng could be built for t24,000, including plumbing for heating and veiitilation, leatlng in the rooms and halls above, bis commission for drawings, superintendence, etc, to guarantee the light to be f-ufflcient, and to guarantee the entire building from cracking, checking or weakenlng for flve years. And although a nuuiber of the Board insisted on this guaran te bom whatever architect was chosen, it was laughed off, and the picture of the fuvoiite adopted without any puch safeguard. Now he can go on and put up wliat he wants to and the district will have to stand "the extras." In the end the peoplearellkely toflnd another abortare as they did wiih the Slxth ward building, built by the same architects. The north side position carries the balldlng out to within a foot of the sidewülk on one fride wblle it is elghty feet from thf walk on the other side, thus making tbc grounds all out of proporlion and symmetry. Then the cry will be for inother building on the south side lo balauca it. Even then the old style of architecture in the present building will be in sad contrast to the handsome modiiii t i uit ure by its side. In fact the Dortfa iWe position sacrilices utility, syniretery and ligbt for dhow and parade. Fortnermore the icianUflc department tlicirljy Ih hli'litcd botfa in ,Mr. Chute's and in -Mr. Winc.s' branches, for no provím'iiii i lor tiddilional room for the former or tbc teleaoope of the latter.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News