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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Great Letter

Another Great Letter stating FACTS!

This letter to Shoreline Area News, from Tracy Tallman, Museum Boardmember really expresses the angst that voters feel.
One essential question for the School District is "Why are they making voters chose between Museum and Schools?"
People with sincere concerns

Thanks Tracy for expressing our concerns as well.

Letter to the Editor:

On January 18th there was a “Save the Museum” rally at the Shoreline Historical Museum. I am a museum supporter (board member actually) with a camera, so I went across the street to take a picture. There were some stalwart folks there supporting the schools. I got into a conversation with them. I would like to make this an open letter to them and to others in the community who feel the way they feel, because I know that all of us who were on that corner sincerely care about the City of Shoreline and the Shoreline Schools.

If the School District had honestly wanted an open dialogue with the Museum when they began the planning process for the new Shorewood High School, why wasn’t there a Museum representative invited to those meetings as a stakeholder in the process?

The Museum is a community in the same way that each school and the school district as a whole is a community. As the Museum Community we are prepared to pay fair market value for the land on which the building sits and for any land required for parking. We are not expecting to get anything for free. We know that we do not own the land, but that we do own the Ronald School Building.

One of the women at the rally supporting the school district kept saying that “the Museum could never be what it was.” I think everyone in the Museum community is baffled as to what seems as a concerted effort to stop the Museum from being what it was. It seems that no explanation of Museum services or statistics supporting the impact the Museum has on the Shoreline community can sway the detractors. But please don’t forget that the Museum is a community too and we care passionately about our organization.

Why can’t the Museum co-exist with the high school? How can the lack of a small amount of land in the corner of a large property even impact the operation of a sparkling new high school? The Museum has offered to buy the land under the building and for parking and also to do the seismic upgrades that would allow the new school to be built close to Ronald School. If there are other external upgrades would make the building fit in with the new school so it isn’t an “eyesore” as some people believe, we will do our best to satisfy those concerns. What else can we offer?

As much as the School District may wish that the School Board members in 1989 had made a different decision and torn the Ronald School down rather than deeding it to the Museum, they DID deed the building to the Museum. They thought that a Museum was an important part of the community. They didn’t deed the land to the Museum in 1989 because they were worried that the Museum wouldn’t survive and that it would try to sell the land. Instead the Museum survived and thrived. Now it is 2010 and the Museum must fight for its existence. People who love museums love schools. Many of the people on the Museum Board are or were educators. Can you honestly say that if you were on the Museum Board you would do anything else but fight for the Museum’s survival?

Tracy Tallman, Edmonds

photo credit - Steve Schneider

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