Save Troy’s schools and taxpayer money

To the Editor:

The cost of the school bond levy issue on the March 17 ballot will be $248 per year or $20 a month per $100,000 home for 37 years. Six elementary schools will be demolished to be replaced by four new schools in Troy.

One advocate for this plan believes it will increase property values. I think tearing down Troy’s magnificent heritage schools will have the opposite effect on our town, making it and our properties less attractive.

Like many fine older homes and buildings around Troy, maintaining and updating our schools is a mere pittance of what it would cost to replace them. Someone made the ridiculous claim that “the cost to repair, or upgrade them is almost double the cost to replace them.”

Adding air conditioning ducts, putting tar on the roof, tucking a few bricks, or installing Wi-Fi is not going to cost anywhere near what it will cost to build another structure of the same fine quality of these beautiful older buildings! What will save taxpayers the most, in the long run, is to simply modify the current schools with A/C, Wi-Fi, etc.

Europeans still use many buildings that are centuries, even thousands of years old. They proudly appreciate their charm and magnificence. Could you imagine Rome, Paris, and London if the “old” structures were demolished to be replaced with American-type strip malls and modern-day homes built of stick-frames and drywall?

Think about how much money and work it would be to replace the county courthouse building or the Hayner house. Modern construction cannot cost-effectively compare to the workmanship and quality of fine older architecture. Adding onto or modifying the existing schools would surely be the most economical remedy to upgrade Troy’s schools. Tuck pointing any loose bricks is very simple, inexpensive, and way less expensive than building new buildings.

If there are interested parties in purchasing Van Cleve, Heywood or other schools, they won’t be able to if the March 17 bond issue is passed because the state, which is funding this project, requires that the older schools be torn down. Save Troy’s magnificent and well-built schools and save the tax-payers lots of money!

I am the grandfather to seven Troy grandkids.

— George Wooley

Troy