Sunday, November 25, 2007

So long, SHS?

A story in today's SJR says that the SHS building at Lewis and Adams is obsolete. The principal and a committee are proposing a $200 million makeover for District 186 schools. The centerpiece project: replacing SHS with a $57 million high school on the west side.

Since that means raising bonds or taxes, look for much heated discussion of this issue in months to come. The principal says the current SHS, built in 1917, is outmoded. He may be right: after 90 years of hard use, we all get frayed at the edges.

My own view is that the building I knew 50 years ago has already vanished. The lawn and trees have shrunk, the new additions are ugly, and the neighborhood is Parking Lot City. About the only reminder of 1958 is the Maid-Rite shop, now on the National Historic Register.

Yet it will be sad if the old building has to go. I believe in preservation, not destruction, so I'd rather see SHS returned to its early footprint and turned into a center for adult education. It has one of the best auditoriums in town, and the only Orpheum organ.

Perhaps UIS would like to have a downtown campus, close to the State House. Perhaps a developer would convert SHS into condos for seniors. What would you do? Your comments are welcome.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.
Here's a nice card from Harriett and Rom.
May you all have a wonderful day with family and friends.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Max Bitter, SJR

Big news in Springfield last night:
The CWLP plant at Lake Springfield blew up.

On a quiet fall evening, the plant exploded at 6:50 pm.
No one was killed. But the plant is a wipe.
Walls gone, holes in the ceiling, turbine and generator, kaput.

Even worse, the 1936 plant was full of asbestos.
Which has now seeped into the lake.
So, no one may go into the water
or drink it.

Talk about a crisis.
I hope that all the '58s in Springfield
are safe and able to get water and power.

Please send us comments
and let us know how you are coping.

Full story, pictures, and video are at
the State Journal-Register site.

Friday, November 09, 2007

50th Reunion for '57

3. Bill Coffinbarger, Gary Kerber, Gary Williams, Rod Delay, Dick Garfat.
2. Carol Fleming Morimoto, Judy Barton Williamson, Bob Schuster, Judi Critchfield Mullen.
1. Kay Anderson Arthur, Judy Bennett, Jane Lemme Wing.
(click picture to enlarge)

These SHS '57 grads, at their 50th Reunion this summer,
also attended Harvard Park School in 1944-53.
(Judy Bennett was at HPS, but not SHS)

Thanks to Judy Barton Williamson
for the picture and names