Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 27, 2012

Three high schools all we need, but which three are they?

I had hoped I would not have to write this letter. I also know many people will not like what I am about to suggest. The key word here is “suggest.”

I suggest Allegany County can get by with three high schools. Now I know some of you are counting your fingers saying Allegany, Fort Hill and Mountain Ridge (in no particular order, mind you) that’s what we have.

And if you agree three schools are enough then please keep an open mind. But, actually we have four high schools in our county. Some may have confused it as part of the prisons on Route 220 near Cresaptown.

But nope, it is a high school and a darn good one. It is the Center for Career and Technical Education, in Cresaptown. Built, I believe, in the early 70’s with the academic building coming later.

Students have to walk between the academic and skill buildings exposed to elements as well as cross the drive used for school business traffic.

With America moving more and more towards four-year career and tech high schools and we being in the position to build a new school in the county. Why not consider a new four-year career center and close Allegany.

I live in the Allegany area and my children went to school there. It will be a sad time but change must happen for the good of all.

There have been a lot of changes to our area over the years. All in an effort to move forward. Some were welcomed, some not so much. One thing they all left behind were memories of the way we were. OK, before I break into song.

Cumberland has managed to avoid all high school consolidation, maybe it is time. Let’s face, it we are not the Queen City we once were. Allegany students could be merged into the Mountain Ridge and Fort Hill districts or attend the career center.

And then rename Fort Hill. All other schools renamed upon consolidation. We could call it Fort Alco, or Fort Allegany at Fort Hill. you know, like Oriole Park at Camden Yards. No more arguing about whose stadium it is. Ease some financial burden on the board of education.

And Homecoming! Just imagine the great homecoming tradition we could build alternating between Fort Alco and Mountain Ridge. Plus we all know this game supports our communities as well as the schools. All the Mom and Pop stores that help us prepare for this day and help us celebrate after wards.

Sounds good to me, the new career center could have its own sports program or bring more promotion and support for programs that enhance their kind of competitions.

It is amazing what the students do at this school. But don’t take my word for it. Ask any middle schooler that attended the “Focus on the Future” event held at the fairgrounds.

Remember this is all only a suggestion.

 So if you are open for suggestions, please consider. If you are not … well, I feel better anyway.

Rick Swandol

LaVale

 

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