What goes around, comes around, after, of course, it's torn down.
What goes around, comes around, after, of course, it’s torn down.
That rhyme is, in a nutshell, what began last Monday when the demolition of Coventry’s Erwine Intermediate School began.
It’s all part of a $40 million project in the district that calls for a new Coventry High School to be built on the site of the former Erwine Intermediate School. Before the building was Erwine Intermediate School, it was Erwine Middle School. And before it was Erwine Middle School, it was Coventry High School.
So the new Coventry High School will be built on the same site of the former – actually, the first – Coventry High School. How cool is that? There’s some symmetry in that. As things change, they really stay the same.
Think about it, Portage Lakes Drive is, for all intents and purposes, Main Steeet through the Portage Lakes and Coventry Township is a key part of the Portage Lakes. Back in the day, building the high school on the de facto main drag, and putting it a block away from Manchester Road, which affords quick and easy access to Akron, made perfect sense. It still does.
Sure, it’s hard for anyone who learned or worked in the Erwine building to see the place succumb to a wrecking ball.
But it makes it better to know that the future and past will coexist together, that the same place where all those memories were made is where the new ones will be made.
In a perfect world, that’s the way it’s supposed to work, creating a delicate balance of moving forward while at the same time not erasing the past.
Let’s hope school district officials take it another step and make sure to also keep alive the memories of Robert Erwine, the man for whom the old school is named.
If you dig far enough back you’ll find that every school system has a pioneer. In Coventry, the guy is Erwine.
Living on South Main Street, just north of, appropriately so, the Portage Lakes Drive intersection, he was a warm, friendly man who could also be nails tough when he had to. When he first came to Coventry, he was the superintendent, the high school principal and the district/high school secretary. When you called, or stopped in, to the district/high school office, there was Erwine on the other end of the phone, the other side of the counter. He did it all. All of the guys back then did it all.
That’s why the district named the old high school in his honor. After all, it was, in so many words, constructed around him.
In some way, that’s a tradition that needs to be carried forward.