Montoursville board makes correct call on old portion of school

One of the hardest things local school boards have to do is separate sentiment from practicality.

That difficult decision often comes down to school buildings.

The Montoursville Area School Board has been wrestling with just such a difficult decision for several years regarding the 1931 portion of its high school.

Many of the present board members were elected in large part on the premise that they would agree to preserve the historic part of the high school.

But once the board members took office and became more familiar with the conditions of that portion of the building, the costs of razing it versus preserving it and the questionable future use of the space, their thinking changed.

And last week, the board voted to demolish the 1931 portion of the high school.

We have no doubt there are plenty of people in the Montoursville community with pangs of emotional regret over this demolition.

But 82 floor joists in the old portion of the structure are in a “monitoring” condition, which translates to heavy future expenses.

While the costs of razing the old part of the school are estimated at between $65,000 and $78,500, the costs of preserving that part of the structure were bound to be much more.

And there is already a surplus of office space and therefore no guarantee the old portion of the school would have had a practical purpose in the future.

The board made a decision that was not easy and will have its doubters.

Lots of borough residents grew up in that portion of the high school.

But we believe the board made the practical, correct call.