Yay or nay, something needs to be done soon

Published 8:42 pm Monday, August 31, 2009

Another town meeting is set tonight to discuss the possibility of constructing a new high school in Selma or renovating the old one.

At the last town meeting, the public generally supported doing something. Many wanted to raze the old high school and put up another one in its stead. One wing of the old one is unusable. The building’s wiring will not accommodate the latest in technology. The roof is shot. The lighting is bad. The list goes on.

Certainly, this is the tale of a school long-neglected in deep maintenance.

On the other hand, some people in the community want to keep the old structure and renovate it into a good solid facility that students will appreciate. Many people walked out of that old high school for the last time and have a sentimental attachment to the building.

While the divisions aren’t deep, they are something to consider. Dr. Austin Obasohan, the Selma City Schools superintendent, is aware of the two camps. He wants to do the proper thing. He wants to stay within a budget.

He also hears the cry for change.

This is not the first time a new school building has taken the attention of people in Selma. Not so many years ago, before Obasohan came to town, talk surfaced of a new school in a new location.

That effort died.

While it is a good idea to hold town meetings to discuss the possibilities, these discussions do not show a firm moment toward a solution to replacing the high school or renovating it.

Sometimes an issue may be over discussed. Perhaps waiting to see how an elected school board shakes out is a good idea. On the other hand, the election is not until October, which pushes into winter.

Whatever the course of action, school officials should work toward having a building well under way by construction time in 2010.