Think about it
Who paid for the facilities where you got your education?
by ELLIOTT DEAN
Nov 03, 2013 | 904 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I have sat in church many times thinking what wonderful facilities we have and dreamed of the men who must have paid for them. Farmers, ranchers, bankers, teachers, men who worked at the steel mill and oh my some of the money even came from men who worked at the brewery. Lots of hard working men and women who put in many an hour to make it possible for me and my kids and grand kids to be able to attend First Baptist Church today.

You know the same holds true for Gilmer High School. Men and women of the 50’s and 60’s made it possible for most of us to have decent facilities when we attended school. Times change, needs change, growth occurs and old facilities just wear out. My question is, is it time for you and me to step up and do our part.

I have heard all kinds of comments, most, or I’ll say a lot are not correct. I have tried to gather some facts for you to think about. I have tried my best to provide accurate information. In 1979 Gilmer voters turned down a four million dollar bond issue to build a new High School that would have included a new gym, band hall and an 800-seat auditorium.

In 1983 we spent three million dollars on a remodel.

In 1988 we spent three million dollars on another remodel which included a new gym.

In 1996 we spent approximately six million, another remodel which included the cafeteria and library.

In about 2009 we spent approximately nine million for a new band hall, field house and the technology building across Bradford St.

OK help me do the math. Since 1979 we have spent approximately twenty one million on our facilities and the only thing we have today that we would not have gotten for our money in ‘79 is the field house and technology building.

I hope you have noticed a trend. If we do not build a new High School for thirty million dollars today, then in the next couple of years we will have to put a new roof on all of what you think of as the current High School. Since the newest air conditioner is appro. 16 years old today, we will certainly replace all the HVAC. You would not do these without replacing the wiring, ceilings and lighting as you have to tear out the ceilings to re duct.

I’ve heard from all directions, we need to use our old facilities longer. We can certainly do that, but I will bet you that we end up spending half of what a new school cost, just to maintain the old walls as they are now. I have done my best to provide accurate facts for your consideration.

The old elementary, you are right it looks pitiful. The school board needs to have it torn down. As taxpayers I can assure you that you would not like to hear what it would cost to fix the old building. I have been in and it just isn’t worth it. Yes it has lots of memories, I attended school for six years there. I think that may be where Sandy fell in love with me. Memories aside, who wants to pour eight or ten million into an old memory.

This is where you’re supposed to say just go vote. Pray about your decision as it will affect our community for decades to come.





Elliott Dean, Gilmer
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