Stabosz calls for historical designation of Boston Middle School

 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The building that houses Boston Middle School on Harrison Street was originally LaPorte High School. Built in the early 1920s, it remained as the city’s high school building until the early 1960s when the present high school was built on F Street.)  

Press release submitted

LaPorte City Councilman Tim Stabosz commented in a press release on negotiations between the LaPorte Community School Corporation and the City of LaPorte regarding a

Stabosz

possible transaction involving the sale of city parkland to the school corporation for the purposes of building a replacement for Boston Middle School.

In connection which such negotiations, Stabosz expressed his strong desire that local historic designation of Boston Middle School be part of any proposed deal.  

“The school corporation has made clear its intention to build a replacement school for Boston next to Kesling Middle School,” Stabosz said. “Boston itself is located in a premier historic residential area of the city. Consequently, the city has an important vested interest in making sure that Boston’s outstanding historic architecture is preserved. Reassuringly, the school corporation has expressed its intention to adaptively reuse the structure for administrative and other purposes. However, no one knows how intentions might change with any future school board or superintendent. A demolition of Boston Middle School, which encompasses an entire city block in a highly visible location, especially without the city having any input over what might replace it, would be extremely detrimental to the city.

“About 10 years ago, the City of LaPorte stepped up to the plate and voluntarily designated LaPorte City Hall as a historic structure. This action ensured that the building will maintain its outstanding historic character into perpetuity to be enjoyed by the citizens of LaPorte. Actions taken by governmental entities, especially by those that educate our children, that testify to the importance of historic preservation in uplifting our city’s self-image, are an important and invaluable form of ‘leadership by example’ that will increase pride in the community, teach our children about the importance of our architectural heritage to LaPorte’s distinctive identity, and secure our city’s reputation as a regional quality-of-life destination.

“As a city councilman with voting authority over this matter, I would look very favorably upon a form of public partnership between the city and school corporation that recognizes the importance of this grand and far-seeing imperative, and would highly encourage those negotiating a possible transaction to include it in their discussions.”

11 Responses to “Stabosz calls for historical designation of Boston Middle School”

  1. joe

    May 04. 2017

    This personal agenda item is not something that should factor in to the construction of a new and modern educational facility for our community. I’m confident a new school will have more of a positive impact on the quality of life in LaPorte than another potential white elephant historic designated building. Once plans are made to do something with the Boston building, work with the planners at that time. Trying to leverage a vote for progress against personal agenda items is not displaying an acceptable level of fiduciary responsibility to this voter. Publishing a soft threat displays even less.

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  2. Bill Riviera

    May 04. 2017

    The city is negotiating with the school corporation? That’s news to me. First I have heard of it.
    Hopefully this building WILL be torn down. “Enjoying it” is also code for: “I’m gonna make you pay for enjoying it….” After all, he did say all of you were wrong when he wasn’t elected back in 2011…..

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      May 04. 2017

      WNLP gave ample notification before city and school board officials held a public hearing in March of this year to begin discussing this issue. Other local media covered the hearing also.

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  3. tom

    May 04. 2017

    Extorting a historic designation on a building that could, over the next 50 years, cost the TAXPAYERS millions for upkeep is incredibly irresponsible. The Board of School Trustees are elected specifically to care for the school corporation — buildings, employees, and students. If a school can no longer be cared for it should be torn down, and not continue to be a drain on the taxpayers. Right now, the Trustees have decided that the Boston building has use, and that the most cost effective thing is to save it. Later the same may not be true. Taking that flexibility away from the elected Trustees is wrong.

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  4. Bob

    May 04. 2017

    A-Men Joe , after the building is saved from being razed , we the tax payers will be required to maintain this building for eternity , thus taking monies away from other much needed items in this City . Take a picture Mr. Stabosz of the building , it will last a long time. As far as up lifting our Cities self interest as Mr. Stabosz stated and as being a councilman , put the monies towards repair of our City Streets , never have they been this bad in all the years I have lived in LaPorte.

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  5. Steve

    May 04. 2017

    Just remember Tim Stabosz and this at Election time. I think its time for him to go

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  6. Michele Barber

    May 04. 2017

    I applaud Tim Stabosz’s efforts to preserve Boston Middle School for future generations. Historic designation of the structure does not obligate the school corporation to retain ownership of the building in the future. It can go into private ownership and have no tax impact on La Porte citizens. Historic designation obligates the OWNER to maintain it, NOT the taxpayers. The Boston Middle School is important architecturally to the history of La Porte. It was built in 1923, with the addition added in 1931 and designed by La Porte architect, George W. Allen. Adaptive reuse of historic structures is often more economical than constructing new buildings. The cost of demolition and site preparation often exceeds the amount of money required to adapt historic structures for new purposes. In addition, it is economically impossible to construct a new building of the same size and with the same quality of materials than the historic structure. Designating Boston Middle School is a win-win for the city and La Porteans.

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  7. Tim

    May 05. 2017

    Thank you Michele Barber for presenting actual facts. It’s sad people are so quick to want to destroy history.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Brice Holzer

    May 05. 2017

    So what is the real agenda here with this building, because there was a multitude of upgrades just done this past year at this facility and now we’re talking about closing it or possibly demolishing it. Why was the money spent to upgrade a building that’s going to be mothballed and or demolished. Who gained from this and why?

    Reply to this comment
  9. James monroe

    May 05. 2017

    Mr. Stabosz is woefully wrong and in error about “historic preservation” and its true roots. He is a very inept councilman and I seem to remember him labeling the public as “stupid” when he was not elected last time. He needs to go. He isn’t a natural born Laportean and does not belong here.

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  10. Diane

    May 08. 2017

    “Native born Laportean”? My goodness…let’s close our doors to any new people and new money…ridiculous comment!

    Reply to this comment

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