With the expansion and growth of Moore County, new schools are being built, leaving us wondering what to do with the old schools. West Southern Pines wishes to purchase/convert the primary school into a cultural and educational center to serve the Black community.
I have another suggestion: Let one or more schools become arts and recreation centers.
It would be great if groups of artists could rent classrooms as studio spaces. Art shows could be conducted in the hallways, cafeteria, etc.
The auditorium would meet a need for local performance groups in the community, such as music, dance and drama groups.
The ball fields and gymnasium would be a great benefit to little leagues as well as adult athletic groups.
Extra classrooms could be used by crafters, clubs, small businesses, meeting/teaching rooms, West-So-Pines initiatives, as well as for trade school opportunities: welding, plumbing, etc.
Affordable usage fees would be charged to cover utilities and other operating expenses, as well as to contribute to a building maintenance fund.
Such use would better serve the community at large than to just develop the sites into new housing developments or a site for only one sector of the population. Additionally, the community has paid for these schools via their taxes; they belong to and should benefit the taxpayers.
This proposal will keep the property in county hands while meeting the growing needs of Moore County. It will be much cheaper to use what exists than to build new buildings. The new community center built in Pinehurst cost $4.9 million for a couple of basketball courts and a few meeting spaces. Re-purposing an old school will quickly fill an arts, recreation and business need in our community for minimal cost.
Lynn Goldhammer, Pinehurst
Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page: https://www.thepilot.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/