It’s time to say goodbye to Schenley

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ULISH CARTER

 

It’s time to let it go Schenley alumni. You fought a strong battle, but let it go. You have your memories of the great days you spent there, but it wasn’t the building, it was the people. And that no one can take from you.
Yes, I understand that Schenley had one of the greatest basketball legacies in the country, and was a great academic school. I had two girls go there, for the academics, and I covered the sports for decades. But the building didn’t do anything. It was the people.
Pittsburgh School Board what are you doing?
You just laid off hundreds of teachers because you said you didn’t have the money to pay them nor did you have the students to justify keeping them, yet you have money to conduct a senseless study.
How much is this study going to cost, $100,000, $200,000 or more? Well that’s two or four or more teachers you could have paid for a year.
The highest bidder is offering $5.2 million. Pittsburgh Public Schools needs money. What are you doing? Take the money. Not only are you $5.2 million dollars richer, but you have gotten rid of a building in which you no longer have to maintain. People, it’s a building. It’s made of brick, wood, glass, and mortar.
What if the study turns up that Roosevelt lied about the condition of the building? So what, we know he did. But what if the study shows that there’s even more damage than the asbestos. Now what do the people who offered you $5.2 million do? Do they lower their bid? I would because I’m going to have to pay more to renovate the building.
If you are selling a building as is, and someone offers you money for the building as is, knowing about the so called asbestos problem, why would you not sell the building?
Much has been made of the Schenley alumni making a bid to buy the building and put a school there. That’s nice but it will still not be Schenley. There will never be another Schenley. It’s gone. The same as Fifth Avenue, Langley, Oliver, Peabody, South, South Hills and all the middle schools and elementary schools that have been closed. Yes, Fifth Avenue, Langley, Oliver, and Peabody buildings are still there but not the students and teachers who made the schools what they were.
I say to the school board. Take the money and hire back some of the teachers you laid off. I know that won’t happen but at least take the money, and put it toward what really matters. The education of our kids is what really counts not preserving brick, mortar and wood. It’s just a building.
Maybe use some of that money to set up a place to house all the trophies and awards Schenley students earned.
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I would like to say farewell to Ora Lee Carroll, one of the few community activists left. Whether you liked her or hated her, no one could say that this woman didn’t genuinely love her community and fought for it. I met her way back when I was on the Community Action Pittsburgh board and even though I disagreed with her methods and how she went about things, I always respected her sincerity. The Lincoln, Larimer, East Liberty communities are going to miss her.
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