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The Suburbanite
  • Springfield board resolves debate over class photos

  • After weeks of intense debate over the fate of framed class photos and their place in the district's new high school, the Springfield Local Board of Education had a “change of heart.”

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  • After weeks of intense debate over the fate of framed class photos and their place in the district's new high school, the Springfield Local Board of Education had a “change of heart.”
     “I see there are a lot of people here tonight and I suspect it is for the class picture update,” Superintendent William Stauffer told those who had gathered at Spring Hill Junior High for the regular meeting of the board of education. “I am here this evening to announce to you, and you are going to be happy, that the board has had a change of heart and (class pictures) will be going back up on the walls of the new school.”
    The pictures will also be digitized and available to view online as well.
    “The board and I didn’t always agree on this and, eventually, the majority came to the same conclusion,” Stauffer said. “That is what democracies are all about. We do appreciate your input on this matter and your passion. I see the Spartan Springfield pride that we talk about so much. If we can bring that to this project the final product is going to be outstanding. … I think we are on the right track and I know the committee is going to be a great committee and are going to do great things.”
    Residents and alumni had been fighting to preserve the tradition of hanging the pictures in the newly built high school. The board, instead, had been pursuing digitizing photos and making them available online.
    To ensure the process of transferring photos is done correctly, Stauffer said a committee would be formed and board member Dave Hofer would chair it and those interested in serving on the committee were advised to contact Hofer.
    The board would like to see the pictures reframed and standardized so they are the same size and same color so they look good in the new building. The board will oversee fundraising efforts to help pay for costs associated with the changes.
    “The board will have final approval of what those pictures look like and where they are going to go,” Stauffer said. “I am sure working with the committee we can do a great job and we can get those pictures looking great and satisfy what everybody wants.”
    At this point, it is uncertain where in the new building the pictures would hang.
    Hofer noted that there will be a lot of work involved in restoring, resizing and reframing the photos.
    “It is going to take a lot of time, hard work – a lot of sweat and a lot of love,” Hofer said. “It is not going to be an easy task. There are 80 of them and with the lifespan of the building, we can expect another 60 or 70 years (so) there will be more pictures coming.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Lakemore Councilwoman Laura Cochran was in attendance June 18. She thanked the board members that had a change of heart.
    “I really appreciate it,” Cochran said. “I have two letters here … They are letters of support from the Springfield Board of Trustees and a proclamation from the Mayor of the Village of Lakemore and the entire council in support of the hanging the pictures.”
    She did ask the board, in the interim, if everyone could be respectful of the pictures and protect them from sun damage.
    Resident Elva Pounders also expressed her gratitude and said that Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor – a Springfield graduate – would be proud to hear of the decision, too.
    “We were talking about the high school and she wondered what was going on with it,” Pounders said. “I asked her what she thought about hanging the pictures and she said to ‘hang them up.’”