Boise School District's bond was passed on March 14th. The approval of a $172 million dollar program will fund improvements at over 20 campuses. Preservation Idaho supports the work of the school district and our goal now is to work with them to ensure that Boise's precious historic schools are preserved and remodeled sensitively so that their significant characteristics remain intact and future generations of students can continue to walk campuses whose buildings reflects the past AND the future.
Look for our Guest Editorials in the Idaho Statesman and the Idaho Business Review that outline our concerns and our suggestions.
We are asking the school district to hire a qualified Architectural Historian to be on the management/planning team for the Master Plan. Please contact the school district Superintendant and Board of Trustees and let them know that the future of these buildings is important to you and that you support their hiring an Architectural Historian as a permanent part of the project team.
Please send your emails to Jennette Clark, Clerk for the Board of Trustees with a request to share it with them and Superintendent, Dr. Don Coberly.
Background: The school district has stewardship of a large of number turn of the century and mid-century buildings. They are exempted from the guidelines that apply to historic buildings but we continue to talk with them about options for renovation that can avoid the unfortunate outcomes that met Cole, Franklin, South Junior High, and Whitney schools. Boise school buildings are part of the history and legacy that built our city and they deserve consideration and every effort at preservation and rehabilitation.
We have met with the school district several times to tour school campuses and talk about options for improvements that will keep distinguishing features and important resources like maple floors and vintage tiles. Demolition or partial demolition should be a final solution only when other options have been considered.
Preservation Idaho understands the need for the bond and supports improvements in schools that help to provide quality education to students in Boise. We have voiced concern over the plans, as outlined in the Master Facilities Report, that will result in the demolition of schools, like Whittier, Pierce Park, and Amity and the partial demolition of others including Highlands and Boise High's historic gym.
We can support the bond and the improvements it will bring and still hold the school district accountable as stewards of these fine buildings. Both outcomes are possible with proper information, planning, and a team effort BEFORE work is done.
We hope you will take time to join us in our effort and contact them today!