Letter: Message to Central Manitoulin council: haste makes waste

Don’t make a wasteful decision on the Mindemoya Old School building

To the Expositor:

The Township of Central Manitoulin is well on the way to proving that, more often than not, haste makes waste.

While some will argue that the old Mindemoya public school has been sitting empty for a long time and that, therefore, the controversial, upcoming vote to demolish it is not one hastily put forward, many Islanders will counter that it seems few resources, and even less creative thought, have been expended to explore alternative, new lives for a building that, within the town of Mindemoya is, arguably, singular in both its architectural and historical appeal. 

Deciding to demolish this building is, by many current and future residents, likely to be regarded as extremely shortsighted. Why, you might ask, do I feel comfortable making this assertion? Well… 

Firstly, as the primary educational facility for generations of Haweaters, the building’s local historical import is self-evident, of course.

Secondly, its (relative) aesthetic value seems equally obvious, a fact which it would be folly to undervalue. Most people enjoy the many charms old and ancient architecture provides elsewhere.

Wouldn’t it be great to engender a little of that experience on our home turf? If you don’t quite “see” it, try imaging what a little TLC, landscaping etc. could do to enhance and highlight the building’s innate character and how, in turn, this might improve the otherwise somewhat dreary main path through Mindemoya.

Thirdly, with a little vision, creativity, a modest financial investment and minimal environmental impact, there is little doubt this building and adjacent property could be turned into an attractive, potentially revenue generating hub. Since for me alone, a plethora of ideas spring to mind immediately, I imagine many other Island residents can, with little difficulty, conjure up a great variety of interesting, viable suggestions.

I could easily rhyme off a number of additional reasons why this building deserves to be spared, but will conclude with this final thought: it might be wise to remember that we are merely stewards for future generations. 

Why not honour this by leaving a historically and aesthetically meaningful structure intact and letting it age into the historical site it deserves to eventually become?

As Central makes its decision, I hope they bear in mind that there will always be time to demolish the school, but once down it can, of course, never be restored. 

Let’s make sure a wasteful decision is not made in haste.

Malene Brynildsen

Providence Bay