The April 19 school board meeting failed to address several questions that those of us who support preservation and restoration came to ask.
The only “conversation” was between school board member Paul Bull, demolition proponent, and Donald Booth, of DJG engineering and planning firm, of Williamsburg. The two men mentioned or suggested every negative and costly aspect of saving what I consider a historic and beautiful building. Many of those who came to the meeting had questions to ask. We were allowed 3 minutes each to express our opinions, but there was no back-and-forth conversation.
In the last 20-25 years, I have visited and been in the school and the adjacent Bayly Memorial Hall, circa 1870, four times. During each visit, I observed damage and disregard for the interiors of both building by enormous amounts of “traveling” storage, in some cases piled high to the ceilings. It also appeared that Bayly Memorial Hall was being used for various maintenance issues elsewhere. If the school board/maintenance department does indeed own these buildings and property, then isn’t it fair to say that they also own the damage done to the interiors of these buildings — and also the surrounding 7-acre property?
Inflation is at a 40-year high with recession expected to soon follow. Some economists have said the recession is already upon us. There is also the possibility that the United States could be dragged into another lengthy war. How can Accomack County afford spending $5 -$7 million on another building?
The Accomac library, which soon will be empty, is certainly a viable and friendly option to the needs of the Accomack County School Board and Administration. Of course, it is not new and shiny, but it does have a traditional presence and sits on an attractively landscaped lot.
Save our school and preserve and respect our history.
Christopher Newman, vice mayor,