Dear Editor,

My children and I are former students of Franklin Elementary. I am a paraprofessional at Franklin Elementary and a taxpayer. I have been at Franklin for 27 years total as a student and an employee.

It just makes me feel ill to think this grand building could be just a memory. A lot of people echo these same sentiments about all four elementary buildings. Each school is special and unique.

When I grew up and got married, I moved to Andreas, but my heart was in Franklin. In 1986 we started a family and I insisted my kids had to go to Franklin Elementary. Well in 1993 we sold our house, and we moved back home to Franklin Township where my children started school in kindergarten and first grade.

What a proud moment to watch my children walk through those same doors I used as a child. Then I became a parent volunteer and helped various teachers in the building. I loved it so much I got hired in 1995 as a paraprofessional.

I truly love the students and my job, it is so rewarding to attend high school graduation each year to see these precious young students grow up well rounded adults and know that I was a small part of their success.

I do agree something needs to be down with our buildings. It's inevitable our taxes will go up; it is a necessity.

These four elementary buildings do need repairs, but I don't feel it's at the point where they are beyond repair. Our tax dollar should be used wisely to make the necessary repairs versus going in bigger debt by building this elementary center.

My understanding is these old elementary buildings would be rented or sold to a college or IU or nursing facilities. If they are in as poor shape as claimed, then why would any of these institutions want them?

At the last workshop meeting on March 10, a representative from Trane explained a way to possibly save money for the district. He offered a great PowerPoint presentation and told the board about cost savings and also provided a list of other schools they renovated.

The solicitor stopped the board from acting on this venture because it was never publicly advertised. It is being put on the agenda for the March 24 school board meeting and hopefully they will pursue this idea before making a decision to put the overburdened taxpayer into more debt by building a new center.

I'd like to publicly thank the school board for being receptive to the residents' concerns. I know you care about the students, staff, and taxpayers. My prayer is: You continue doing your homework and don't rush this project through at the cost of all taxpayers, young, middle aged, and the elderly.

@$:

Sincerely,

Brenda Eckley

Lehighton