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Letters to the Editor for March 22

Preserve a piece of Tualatin's history

My four sisters and I all attended the old Tualatin Grade School located on Boones Ferry Road and Sagert Street. We were students there from the time it was opened until 1960. Some of our children and grandchildren have attended there too. So we have many years of wonderful memories of that treasured place.

Not only was the grade school used for the normal school activities but school playsand parent teacher meetings also.

Some of my other fond childhood memories include going with my dad, Art Martinazzi, to watch him play basketball on the town team. I can still see him in my mind's eye - some 55 years later - tearing down the floor to make a basket.

Dad also danced with me at more than one firemen's ball that was held annually in the gym. That was back in the days when parents could take their kids to dances with them.

There was a daytime earthquake in Tualatin in about 1948 or 1949. The school was heated by a gigantic furnace, and a huge woodpile was neatly stacked in back. During that earthquake my seventh grade teacher, Mr. Donald Gregg, folded his arms and spoke to our class so calmly as we stood at the window and stared down at that woodpile just swaying back and forth.

Now the school district wants to sell the old Tualatin Grade School to developers. Tear down that sturdy old building? I'd venture to guess that nothing with which they could replace it would be built so sturdily.

We understand that cash-strapped school districts need revenue, but there is more than money at stake in this situation. If this treasured landmark is sold to developers, it will soon disappear from memory. In its place would probably be just one more mall.

Tualatin has grown from a no-street light village and no I-5 of my childhood to the people-packed city it has become today. There are very few landmarks left. There are too few opportunities for the public to have a large expanse of space to enjoy.

Surely with public support, the community could keep this treasure and extend its useful life for a long time to come. The food bank could continue to operate there, and the imagination knows no bounds when it comes to other useful activities which would benefit the citizens of the area.

We urge the city of Tualatin and the Tigard-Tualatin School Board to work together to preserve these 12-plus acres and the four buildings.

TONI MARTINAZZI

Cadiz, Ky.