Speak Out: Don’t opt for urban sprawl
by our readers
Jan 17, 2014 | 1669 views |  0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As a proud resident of Jacksonville, I am deeply concerned about the prospect of relocating Kitty Stone Elementary School to a highly congested location south-of-the-traditional center of town. A simple drive through any big-box town should be enough evidence regarding the negative effects that come with urban sprawl of this variety.

Many of our friends in Jacksonville have heard me say this before, but we must learn to capitalize on what makes Jacksonville unique and marketable as a city. The pleasant small town atmosphere of our idyllic public square. The spotless campus of Jacksonville State University. Just as important, our charming elementary school, in direct proximity to both of these jewels. This is simple marketing to attract and retain future residents, as our area will undoubtedly grow in the coming years with the completion of Veterans Memorial Parkway. I would suspect that the small-town feel would impact the decision-making process of a possible transplant to the city.

Currently, it seems the chosen big-city architect has really smooth-talked the small-town school board into buying the vision of a new school. However, it goes unsaid that architects on a large project such as this are paid by percentage. Naturally, the architectural firm would angle for the significantly more expensive move. Meanwhile, the current school sits with new facilities, some less than a few years old, which can readily be incorporated into a new school design on the current location. Perhaps more work for our architect, while lower overall expense for the city.

I encourage our school board to take the suggestions with a grain of salt, thinking about the long-term sprawl which will most definitely be caused by uprooting Kitty Stone from its current location.

Jerrod Brown
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