Accusations about Predetermined outcomes are unfair, unjust and without solid evidence to support them unfounded and inaccurate.
I’ll be accused of being naive or something but I truly believe that when it comes to the High School Project nothing is predetermined.
Many people are in favor of keeping the High School Downtown but I don’t believe it has anything to do with someone “getting” something out of keeping it there.
I believe it has to do with tradition, with respect to people like Paul Tsongas and Pat Morgan and Lowell’s respect for it’s past. Lowell National Historical Park is a National Historical Park because of these men and our history.
It was Established in 1978 a few years after Lowell Heritage State Park and comprises a group of different sites in and around the city of Lowell related to the era of textile manufacturing in the city during the Industrial Revolution.
In 2019, the park is scheduled to be included as Massachusetts’ representative in the America the Beautiful Quarters series.
Lowell High School opened in 1831 From the inception, Lowell’s public schools were integrated. African American Caroline Van Vronker was a student at Lowell High School in 1843, at a time when every public high school in Massachusetts and the United States was segregated. Lowell High School, was the first co-ed high school in the United States.
Just like the vision to create the National Park based on Lowell’s History, I think people like Brian Martin, Kendall Wallace and others want to maintain and honor the history of Lowell High and leave it downtown.
I also believe people like Dick Howe and Jim Cook have a real concern about what happens to the downtown if the High School moves. I’ve pointed out did that we haven’t had huge success building in the Hamilton Canal. What makes anyone confident the current school site would be developed any quicker?
Despite all of that I don’t believe the City Council has predetermined anything. I think Rita Mercier- Jim Leary- John Leahy- Dan Rourke-Jim Milinazzo and Bill Samaras have shown a willingness to listen and be open to reviewing the facts including cost and pros and cons of Cawley and the present site. Mayor Kennedy seems to want it downtown while Councilor Elliott is focused on cost more than location. Councilor Belanger at one point wanted it out of downtown but now in an election year seems to want to take a poll to see which way he should vote.
With the exception of Andy Decouteaux who when running for School Committee stated on his platform page “He wants the High School to stay downtown” and Steve Gendron who also wants to keep it downtown I haven’t seen anyone else state a preference.
I don’t believe the City Manager has indicated any preference and will follow the wishes of the Council.
In my view we all have to wait until ALL the information, cost – traffic impact and relief – Affect on Students etc. to see where a ” New High School ” goes.
Just because leaders of the city indicate an opposing view to yours , doesn’t mean anything is predetermined and we all have to be willing to work together regardless of which location gets chosen.
We do a disservice to those that want to keep the school downtown by making unfounded accusations about things being predetermined. We may not all agree where it should go but we should be respectful of their opinions.