Friday, August 7, 2015

Vandals Strike Rotunda Again

The rotunda, all that remains of the old Sallisaw High School, was vandalized again this week (above). More windows were broken out and a door frame damaged.

Sallisaw attorney Robert Jamison Jr. is heading up a group hoping to save the rotunda and surrounding property as a small park for community events.

Jamison said the group will be meeting Wednesday at his office in Sallisaw to discuss plans for the rotunda and park. A group of Sallisaw residents and graduates of Sallisaw High School told city commissioners they will come up with a plan for the property after city commissioners voted to tear down the rotunda. At their June 8 meeting the commissioners voted to tear down the rotunda because it is a target for vandals. 

At a special meeting June 22 many Sallisaw residents voiced opposition to the rotunda's removal and promised to come up with a plan to save the structure and property. Jamison was spokesman for the group.

Jamison said Thursday the plan will be presented at the city commission meeting on Sept. 14.

He explained, "We are working under the name of the Old Sallisaw High School Association." That group, which raised money to save the old high school, faded away after the school was destroyed in an arson fire on June 9, 2004. Jamison said the remaining money the association had was donated to the city.

Jamison said those who want to save the rotunda hope to see the property developed as a park, where a stage could be built for local bands to perform, Movies on the Lawn could be shown, Sallisaw High School graduates could meet and people could be attracted to both the park and downtown area.

"We can raise the money," Jamison said about funding the park. He added, "We do have a plan." Part of that plan would be to remove the glass entirely, so it would not be attractive to vandals, have police patrol the area often, and perhaps have students from the technology center repair the brick.

"We are working really hard to put this plan together," Jamison said.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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