Year-end columns call for random thoughts. I do not do recaps. I’m not a fan of the rear-view mirror feature of life.
One of the most interesting places in Platte County to me is The Hub at East Platte. This former elementary school on Skyview Avenue and north of Interstate 435 has been converted to a co-working and event use space and seems like a “hub” of activity, pardon the pun.
They offer office spaces, event spaces and docking and they have repurposed a school property that reminds many of us of our youth.
Tammie and Lamar Eby are behind the revitalization, according to their website.
According to news reports from a few years ago, East Platte Elementary school opened in 1961 and was originally replaced by Siegrist Elementary and an addition at Barry School. The school building was 25,000 square feet and, when it sold in 2018, included 22.9 acres. It was closed as a school in 1996, which seems like a short shelf life for a school. If history tells me anything, I am either wrong about those dates or there is a political story behind this, both could be true as well.
That former elementary school had the classic fold out windows and I’m still a little confused as to the procedure on those bad boys. During tornado drills we were instructed to open all those things. Is that still the rule? Does the science still support 150 mph winds whipping through small rectangular window openings without doing damage?
Were children’s lives ever saved from tornadoes by sitting cross legged with their head down and arms protecting their heads? Do they still prepare that way? I for one found the whole procedure extremely uncomfortable and thought the teachers may just be doing that to kill time, but I’m not an education expert.
Speaking of education, the Missouri Board of Education recently announced that Karla Eslinger would be the next commissioner of education. All the Jeff City kind of people say great things about Eslinger and I know nothing to the contrary.
The most interesting thing about the hire to me was that the board of education, which basically presides over an education system many believe to be failing, hired their next CEO without accepting or considering other applicants.
Yep, they said it was not necessary after “finding” Eslinger, which was probably not difficult since she is a state senator currently and will be until June, when she takes the new job. “Look guys, I found a senator,” had to be quite the pleasant surprise in education offices.
Eslinger was an “assistant commissioner” to the current commissioner from 2010-2013, which must have been the glory days of education performance in Missouri to warrant such a bold move by the board to not even consider anyone else.
(Guy Speckman can be found practicing his cross-legged tornado safety seating at local schools)