Letters to the Editor

School facilities

September 24, 2008


To the editor:

I want to thank USD 497 Operations and Facility Planning Director Tom Bracciano for all the hard work he has put into making use of the extraordinary windfall in facilities improvement monies earned from the South Junior High project. It was through his efforts that the district benefited from having the contractor not only meet the high standards for remodeling both SJHS and Broken Arrow, but also to do this under cost.

It is to his credit that the long-overdue and much-needed field facilities for Lawrence High School can finally (finally!!) be addressed, not only to the benefit of the fragile single-family neighborhoods nearby, but also to the seven property owners whose homes are directly adjacent to under-utilized LHS fields.

As one of the founding members of the Centennial Neighborhood Association, and someone who lives close by LHS, I applaud and cheer the improvements that have been 12 years in the making and will allow this central-city high school and all of the feeder schools nearby to not only survive, but to flourish for many decades to come.

Thank you, Mr. Bracciano, and to the school board members who have supported him.

Deborah Snyder,


Shelley Bock 9 years, 7 months ago

saoirseglen says "...Yes, I forgot that athletics are more important than academics as a matter of course. How silly of me."Yes, how silly of you because athletics has a positive impact on academics. If you knew anything about the team GPA and subsequent collegiate academic success of local athletes, you'd realize that athletes out perform the general student population academically. Case in point, basketball starters on a 2001 USD 497 team that went to State had a combined 3.9 GPA and all have or are about to achieve a masters in college. They were exceptional athletes and even better students.A significant expenditure, after years of neglect, is not indicative of favoring sports over academics.

Jackson 9 years, 7 months ago

I'll bet Debra Snyder does not live near LHS.

saoirseglen 9 years, 7 months ago

I would not use the word fragile to describe the neighborhood I live in. Nor would I say that the fields across the street from my home are underutilized.While my home is nothing fancy, unlike the homes in west Lawrence, at least it is affordable and easily maintained by a homeowner.As for the field across the street, I see people using it regularly for dogs, children and even practices. It makes for a very basic nature space in an otherwise totally developed area.I just don't buy where the money is coming from for the project, especially when it wasn't that long ago, within the last year, that the district was asking for approval to obtain more funding for teacher salaries. Yes, I forgot that athletics are more important than academics as a matter of course. How silly of me.

mom_of_three 9 years, 7 months ago

she said she is a founding member of the centennial organization, so perhaps she does.

Jackson 9 years, 7 months ago

Debra Snyder lives two (2) blocks from the proposed LHS football stadium, and would be unaffected sports events, noise, lights , trash, and street parking problems.Furthermore, she has only lived in the neighborhood for 20 or 30 years, is not on the Centennial Neighborhood Steering Committee, and has no authority as "spokesperson" for Centennial Neighborhood.In fact, she is likely in a group of one (1) area residents who support the proposed LHS sports "fiasco".

Terry Jacobsen 9 years, 6 months ago

Love the plan. I believe it will increase the value of the neighborhood and bring healthy activity and vibrancy to the area. My kids go to LHS and are not athletes, yet I can see the advantage of having on-site fields and facilities. I echo the writer's thoughts, Tom B. has done a great job of putting this plan together.

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