Tower proposal worthy of consideration

As a former student at East Junior High School, I am intrigued by the proposal to repurpose the building as the site of a joint justice center, and would hope that those who are in a position to make the decision about the proposal will carefully consider the offer from Andrew Kalnow before moving too quickly to build a new structure where the former courthouse once stood.

The Columbian/East Junior High School building, now named East Tower, has the potential to serve Tiffin and the surrounding area once again. For more than a century, the grand structure guided the children and families of Tiffin. It was a place where dedicated staff and faculty worked to educate students, impart wisdom, direct their growth in classroom and extracurricular activities, and mold future citizens. It would be altogether appropriate to renovate this building to serve today’s citizens and youth in a slightly different manner – but still with the goal of educating and re-educating young minds, redirecting inappropriate behavior, administering corrections when necessary and contributing to the development of more productive citizens.

Mr. Kalnow has offered to finance a feasibility study that would consider the costs and benefits of developing this site for such a purpose. Such a positive use would preserve one of Tiffin’s most unique and beautiful structures that was built with such great pride in 1893. It would eliminate the embarrassment the exposed wall, now neglected for more than a decade, has become to all who approach from Jefferson Street. It would contribute to a growing revitalization of downtown Tiffin that has occurred as a result of several new downtown businesses and initiatives. It would still keep the joint justice center near the existing courts. Most important, it would preserve the Courthouse Square, a space that has assumed a new significance as we grow to appreciate the unique architecture that remains in the downtown area.

We have just begun to explore ways to utilize the central common space to strengthen our community and bring us together.

I urge Seneca County commissioners and members of Tiffin City Council to act responsibly and consider all possibilities carefully before making such an important decision.

Vicki Ohl