The Everett School Board is just one vote away from demolishing one of our most important historic buildings, the Longfellow School, to save maintenance cost and create 33 parking spaces. Ironically, Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, the author of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, attended there as a child. It will likely be torn down shortly after the bond vote is over.
The board has rejected a couple of offers over the years that it didn’t deem to be viable. However, last year when the Everett Museum of History made a solid $2 million cash offer for the school, the district showed its true colors. While the public thought they would embrace the offer, they instead made capricious and unreasonable demands, and the school board refused to meet with the museum board. The museum finally gave up and bought a different property.
By all indications, the district has only been pretending to sell the school. Two years ago their own survey found that the public overwhelmingly wanted to save it. They have argued that it’s their job to educate children, not preserve buildings. If that’s true, why didn’t they sell the school? In addition to the $2 million, they could have saved the nearly $1 million in demolition costs. That adds up to $91,000 per parking space! They have not made a case for how this decision benefits their students. When Longfellow goes down, it won’t be because nobody wanted to buy it.