As the co-chair of the 2012 MCHS bond campaign, I would like to respond to statements made concerning the demolition of MCHS in the Jan. 21 Journal. While I do not live in the community anymore due to my husband’s job change, I feel it is essential to address certain statements by Karen Sheek.
Committee members worked very hard to deliver a consistent message during the 60+ public meetings and numerous conversations with Cortez citizens. In brief, it was: “We have a one-time opportunity to provide a safe and much needed modern building for our students through the BEST grant,” and included the statement, “Demolition of the old high school is the expected result but, the school board is willing to consider other options if they present a plan both agreeable to RE-1 district and the community at large.”
Demolition was not the only solution discussed with voters. With reference to Sheek’s comment, “I can remember Alex saying, ‘We are going to cannibalize that building,’” I wonder both about her recall of the wording used and, more importantly, her inability to understand the overall point. Superintendent Alex Carter was speaking of the need to salvage/use materials from the old MCHS building when possible. We all knew the importance of maximizing district resources and saw his efforts as something good, not bad as has been insinuated. Perhaps if Sheek had continued to attend meetings and participated as she had promised initially, that would have been more clear to her.
It is understandable citizens are upset that there are additional issues and costs surrounding demolition; I am too. It is appropriate to ask questions and research why this information was not accurate and examine ways to fix it. What is so disturbing though, is the vitriol and inaccuracies that are becoming part of the process. I would challenge the media as well as public servants to examine how they report and discuss these events. They have the power to lead toward solutions and better systems and away from innuendo and armchair quarterbacking.