Letters to the Editor: Mount Abe officials make good case for building project

Thanks to the many Five Town community members for their dedicated work in addressing the facility issues at Mt. Abe. The recent article in the Addison Independent makes a good case for moving ahead with substantial work.
The $35 million price tag needs to be reduced — at $500 per square foot that would build 70,000 square feet of new building. The notion of ringing the school with a road seems completely out to lunch and I am not sure that moving the library at the expense of the shop is a good move either. Hopefully there will be a well-facilitated public involvement process in working out these and other details.
But substantial work is needed. Mt Abe is our Five Town community center. Its primary function is to provide a top-rate educational experience for middle and high school students. In addition, life-long learning for our entire community ought to be woven into the function and design. Elders should be part of the mix. We should be inspired by architect Christopher Alexander’s dedication to “wholeness” in every decision. Life and beauty should be brought to the entire campus and students should be involved as part of their educational experience.
Dennis Casey’s comment that the facility should lift up the educational experience especially for those from challenging economic experience is right on. And Mt. Abe Principal Jessica Barewicz’s mention of the “hidden curriculum” is also excellent especially if this means extension to the entire community, across the Mt. Abe campus, and deep into a hands-on and minds-on learning experience.
Let’s do something superb here that is grounded in and models the virtues of wholeness, gratitude, ingenuity, simplicity, beauty, prudence and compassion while tangibly drawing upon and modeling our culture’s collective wisdom and more. Let’s not rush the process or break the bank. This whole process is the educational experience we need.
David Brynn

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