Losing Smith

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Preparing to decapitate

This is an act of ignorance, cowardice, and aggression – and from the “leaders” of your schools.

You’d think they would never get away with this again, but…

They will win the battle and loose the war for better schools – because they are ‘fighting’ the wrong ‘enemy’ the wrong way.

The amputated remnants of Smith, pasted onto a Frankenstien’s monster of a weakling modern-day school building, will only serve to remind what was lost…and the need to never let it happen again.

Front entrance, auditorium side
Huh! Imagine the auditorium being attacked first. Not the gym, not the classroom wing…
Heavy equipment is needed to attack a heavy building
And at stage left, enter the barbarians
Admiring progress

Published by:

Kevin B. Coleman

Pre/historian, architectural historian, re-enactor, guide, reporter, speaker, writer, gardener, craftsperson, husbandman, et al., who can work in stone (flint knapping, flintlock, silicon chip) among other things and who is determined to use my knowledge, wisdom, and personal survival to help the greater good. At least, my cats and dog here in semi-rural Ohio tell me that.

Categories Uncategorized19 Comments

19 thoughts on “Losing Smith”

    1. You mean the National Trust? I doubt there was enough time to recruit them. There’s also the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, which may have been helpful in legally policing any state funding – but again, too late. The first and foremost Demolition Police need to be the citizens, in this instance. But this battle was joined way too late after ineffective and halting fighting earlier – but that’s how the demolitionists wanted it. WE MUST DO BETTER. Learn this lesson that apparently was not learned or was forgotten after West Fifth and Mount Logan. History does not repeat itself, people repeat history – because they don’t learn from it. Ok, getting preachy, need to go out and garden.


      1. Hi Kevin, Great piece but I just want to let you know that it is my understanding that there have been attempts to get the OHPO involved in years past and even now and also the Nat’l Trust but two steps would be taken and 4 steps would cause a stalemate. I think the supporters of Saving Smith came the closest. It is a very sad week.


      2. OHPO Is slow but very strictly legal, so unless money was laundered, they should be effective where they have jurisdiction. I’m familiar with the “Section 106″ process,” which I wonder if it could have been put to work here. The main failing on our side is (re)starting the fight way too late. Franklin did his best, but there’s wasn’t enough time and resources. I was murmuring about Smith for the last year or so, but speaking from experience, there’s nothing like a crisis to get ya motivated. Again, we preservationists need to be better organized and pro-active – which takes work, but less stress that rushing and losing.


  1. Kevin, I have forwarded on my personal FB page and was personally attacked for my sorrow over this beautiful building. Shame on them all! We will never forget this horrible act.


    1. You forwarded this? Then I am equally attacked. Yet more reason to stay civilized, and let these brainwashed brutes rave. Truth will not always persevere, but it perseveres better when its proponents defend it judiciously. (Sometimes that means war…and sometimes it means patience, tolerance, and calmly repeating facts.)


    2. Julie, Ignore them some making comments do not even live in this town or school district including Mr. Saxton. The taxes do not affect him, so he does not care and this do it for the children is a bunch of bullcrap! Give up your 2 percent pay increase for the children Saxton!


  2. You guys look like idiots the way you have carried on over a building. I use to have the up most respect for some of you that I knew but wow I would be embarrassed to be seen with you now. The district is doing what is best for the students!


    1. First, thanks for having the courage to post here. Second, thanks for being mostly civil about it.

      But the idiots are the school leadership who have been hell-bent on destroying and replacing a perfectly good building with a lesser building, and who went to the furthest excuses to justify doing so. Unfortunately, a majority of the public, who are paying for this incredible waste one way or another, don’t question the propaganda of their betters – which includes portraying us as idiots.

      The district is doing what is best for its egos and misinformed fears about funding. And, the advising committee and community feedback was uniformed and slanted. (90% of how many survey responses were pro-demolition? Two? 20? 200?) This abomination will not be forgotten in this generation (especially with the robbed “artifacts” to remind everyone), and the students, teachers and parents will suffer for it one way or another whether they deserve it or not. And they’ll be paying an estimated $80,000,000 (which will certainly increase) to be wasted on replacing an adequate $13,000,000 facility. Even with truthful renovation costs, I’m certain the numbers would still be poorly balanced.

      To further the analogy, you’re going to junk a ’69 Mustang for a ’81 econobox? Sure, the Mustang is increasingly inefficient and will age some, but not as much as the econobox, and the Mustang is worth re-investing in and upgrading. Our kids will go to school in an econobox, and we can’t even pay for it without jumping through hoops for state funding. Such is the poverty of our times, ironically in contrast to the first two years of the Great Depression. In the meantime, fine and classic styling is destroyed at scrap value and landfill tipping fees.

      ‘Just a stupid building’ as you imply? Yeah, it is is. But an extremely valuable public property that is being unnecessarily wasted because of hatred, fear, and ignorance.

      Screw sentimentality. I know a well-built, well-styled building over an ugly short-lived lump no matter what its history or personal connection – I see many of the former in this historic town, and some of the latter incredibly replacing them – but fortunately most of the latter are concentrated in the consumer-frenzied throwaway boom town on the fringes. Unfortunately, the latter is also what the community will get and pay for on Allen Avenue, and their children will not know a building deserving of respect that will long outlive them.

      I stand by my words, and if you can’t bear my company, I’m all the more proud of the company I keep. We may be emotional and sometimes impractical (and with bad timing), but we have souls…and want our community and its facilities to have the same.


    2. Tell us Amanda, how is this best for the students in detail? Because if you are going to say kids learn better in a newer building you are the idiot. How do you explain why the test scores on Yoctangee Pkwy. are still so low and not improved? How do you explain how kids continue to leave (middle and high school age) and go to other districts thru open enrollment? It is not the building, it is the current administration. Quit drinking the Kool-Aid! And to you it is just a building to others it was much more.


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