3/15/2006 4:25:00 PM Save Palestine High's entrance
Soon construction on the new grade school in Palestine will be complete. As a result, Palestine will be losing a local landmark, Palestine High School. Yes, the students will be relocated to the old grade school, but the building will have to be destroyed. It is the price of progress that sometimes the old things must pass away. In spite of that inevitability, the village and its citizens have the ability to keep a piece of the past intact.
Some citizens of Palestine and alumni of PHS have mentioned trying to save the entrance to the old high school as a sort of memorial to the old building and the generations of graduates who have passed through it since the building was first used. While murmurings of what could be done to preserve the entrance have floated around for several months, nothing definitive has yet been done to actively work to save it. Time is running out.
As a result, I have written letters to six groups that might be able to put their abilities together to work to accomplish something. Those groups are the Unit 3 Board of Education, the Palestine Academic Foundation, the Palestine Alumni Association, the Palestine Booster Club, the Palestine Development Association, and the Palestine Preservation Projects Society (PPPS). I believe those groups could lead the way to preserving the entrance of PHS. These groups have experience in working with projects that are historic/civic in nature, and have expertise in raising funds for such projects. They also have the avenue for creating discussion of the project through their regular meeting agendas.
While those groups may be able to provide leadership and some resources for tackling the task at hand, some of the work will need to be done by volunteers - the interested citizens of the community and alumni of the district. One potential fundraiser that has been mentioned, for instance, is selling bricks from the building after it is razed. It's a good idea, but one that will require work from many people to pick up, to transport, and to sell the bricks. This idea is just one of several.
The point is that it will take a concerted group effort from organizations and individuals alike. I encourage those interested in preserving this piece of Palestine's history and heritage to contact one or more of the groups mentioned above about your interest in helping, be it in terms of time, energy, ideas, or money. Each of those types of sacrifices will be required.