Sunday, April 1, 2012

Google view of Seward Middle School

Here is a Google satellite view of the Seward Middle School that I wrote about yesterday. I have confirmed that the "Old HS Building", (top building in the picture) was built in 1915.  The Gymnasium is next to the south, then the 1931 "Elementary School Building". The gray roofed building to the south (bottom) of that is the "new classroom addition" that I believe was built in the 1980's. The little "stand-alone" Maintenance building is next in line. The "Old Band Building" is also stand-alone and is near the Bus pick-up driveway. The picture cuts short the playground area which runs on to the south for the full 3-block area. Somewhat similar situations must have existed within the country during the past few years; it would be interesting to hear the utilization success stories as well as the failures. This morning's Lincoln paper covered a story about the town of Beatrice renovating their old Carnegie Library at a cost of nearly a million dollars. It will be used to house staffs for Economic Development, County Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce. It's good to see historic buildings preserved and put to use but the challenge of this Seward project is beyond my comprehension. At one time the little brick Maintenance Building was used as a shop class for teaching Manual training. There may be some successful alumni with enough fond memories of that building to have it moved down to the County Fair Grounds as a small museum. The gymnasium has some potential as a "YMCA" facility or possibly something the City Park and Recreation Department could utilize. The latest classroom addition could serve many useful purposes if much of the old complex were demolished and a planned, mixed use community was developed at the site. It would have been nice if someone with Seward ties and a passion for old buildings would have won the Lottery last night. They could have hired an architectural firm to come up  with economic and aesthetic alternatives. But they didn't so the "opportunity" is still up for grabs. Having something that you don't know how to utilize is almost more gut-wrenching than not having anything. That may be why the asking price is $199,000.  

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