In regard to the enhancements proposed for the Middle School Facilities, its interesting USD 250 officials have not specifically identified the extent of demolition required for constructing the proposed new additions at the Middle School. While it is obvious demolition will be required, there appears from the Conceptual Bond Plan that new construction is not proposed in the area of the existing tower structure. Whether intentional or by coincidence, this remains to be revealed. With no clear information, those supporters of preserving the existing tower structure are still in fear of losing it. While magnificent and historic, the towers built with the 1920 building, may invoke different feelings for many people. For some PHS students prior to 1978, an image of these iconic towers and not a dragon was actually placed on many class rings as a symbol and significant image for Pittsburg High School. While only brick and mortar, for some of us who graduated from PHS prior to 1978, the historically regarded tower structure may also symbolize and recall some memories for the teachers and fellow schoolmates. Yes, there is a time to tear down, a time to build up, and a time to preserve some significant architecture from the past with development for the future.

As well as included in the fine arts, it has been said true architecture can be likened to frozen music. If determined structurally sound and with some imagination, preserving the tower structure would not appear to impede the educational opportunities with any new school facility construction, and may actually contribute to the educational process. When does an appreciation for history and the arts actually begin and end for former and current students? In regard to the tower structure, for some PHS graduates prior to 1978, it appears their appreciation may have never ended -- clear into the 21st century. There is also a “Save the Towers” facebook Group of over 327 members who support preserving the tower structure.

Clear plan information and rendered illustrations beyond colored graphic boxes for this bond issue, regarding specific design solutions, intentions and proposed contributions for the community’s built environment, may tend to calm the waters for everyone with concerns in regard the proposed school building enhancements as outlined with the limited informational material distributed to date.

It’s also interesting, for alternatives based on only the cost numbers as presented, the same reasoning as used for complete demolition and building new as proposed for Middle School improvements, rather than renovation of existing building space, would not apply to the improvements as proposed for the High School building with extensive renovations and new additions.

Stuart Owsley

PHS Class of 1960