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September 06, 2012 12:42 pm

EDITORIAL: Old school, new purpose

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Economic development in Deaver encouraging

Many of Wyoming’s communities are blessed to have new, state-of-the-art school facilities that provide better opportunities for local students. But those blessings can leave behind a trail of empty buildings and grumblings of “waste.”

That’s what makes recent news out of Deaver so encouraging.

Deaver’s old school building was just weeks away from demolition when a local woman got an idea. Rather than seeing the facility as a lost cause, Karen Fulbright saw possibilities for economic growth. Her vision, combined with the hard work of local and state leaders, led a Canadian company to recently purchase the site for its operations.

Where students once learned, workers will soon manufacture equipment for Ridgeline Energy Services.

The company creates equipment to filter and purify water in oil and gas fields, making it safe for agricultural use.

Deaver’s 65,000-square-foot school campus will become the company’s second manufacturing facility in the United States.

It means the potential for jobs in our area. It means possible opportunities for welding students at Northwest College. It means a public building will be repurposed rather than destroyed.

This partnership between a private industry and the public sector benefits those on each side.

“Everybody had a vision,” said Rep. Elaine Harvey, R-Lovell, who worked to ensure the building could be sold rather than demolished. “The people of Deaver have responded, and you see some houses being renovated. They’re excited to build their community.”

It’s encouraging for those of us beyond Deaver to see old school facilities take on new life.

Some old buildings just aren’t suited for anything other than the wrecking ball, but Deaver shows that with the right blend of vision and initiative, there can be a better way.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link September 07, 2012 7:04 am posted by TN

    Why not tear it down like they did in Powell,after all the bricks are dirty and people need new bricks.

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