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Lakemore Council takes stance on photos

6/20/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

It did not take long for Lakemore Village Council to frame an opinion on the removal of a time-honored display from the community.

Councilwoman and Springfield Local Schools alumni Laura Cochran said she was disappointed upon hearing the new Springfield High School, currently being constructed in the village, would not feature the traditional graduating class pictures on a prominent wall.

In fact, the portraits would not be visible anywhere inside the updated educational facility. The district plans to have the historical photos available to view via the Internet only, according to village officials.

This decision did not sit well with Cochran. She and fellow Council members agreed at the June 17 regular meeting to stand alongside a group of citizens petitioning the Springfield Local Schools Board of Education to rehang the photos once the new school is complete.

During the meeting, Council passed a proclamation promising to ensure concerns regarding the photos of past graduates are appropriately addressed by the school board.

“Securing the history for the community has become a concern,” the approved proclamation reads.

“The Village of Lakemore Council proclaims the alumni class pictures displayed at Springfield High School are important references to the history of the Springfield Local Schools system, the Village of Lakemore and Springfield Township. Retaining positive community relations and continuing traditions practiced is important to the residents of the community who have supported the progress of Springfield Local Schools,” the document states.

Cochran announced she would hand-deliver the proclamation to district officials at the June 18 school board meeting so they know Lakemore Council does not want the old photos simply archived.

According to Cochran, a group of alumni would like to develop a plan to refurbish the photos instead.

According to village officials, school board members have said displaying the photos online would ensure the aged pictures are not vandalized and available to anyone who has access to the Internet.

Also during the meeting, Council agreed to close Springfield Lake July 5-7 to all people, except those authorized, for the Three Rivers Outboard Racing Association’s powerboat races. The matter created a few waves, however.

Councilman Chad Lance did not vote in favor of closing the lake, citing the Fourth of July weekend as a time local residents enjoy getting their own boats out on the water.

Mayor Rick Justice explained the lake needed to be closed for safety reasons, as extra boats and people on and near the water could be dangerous during such an event.

The race has become a tradition on Springfield Lake but typically has taken place after the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Council discussed asking the organization to plan better for next year.

Justice said the race is part of the weekend’s Rock the Dock festivities — which will include live music, carnival rides, fireworks and other family entertainment — on the shores of Springfield Lake July 5-7.

He said boaters may possibly be allowed back on the water July 7, as the race most likely would end earlier that afternoon.

Additionally, Council authorized Justice to prepare and submit applications to the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program or Local Transportation Improvement Program for water main line valve and hydrant improvements in the village and for a culvert replacement on Lakeview Street.

Council also appointed Jay Zedak as a probationary volunteer firefighter/EMT for the Fire Department, as an initial revamp of the department’s roster of volunteer and part-time employees.

Also at the meeting, Council heard a presentation on the Akron Zoo. Zoo representative Linda Criss highlighted how the zoo has been transformed over the years. She announced the newest addition at the zoo — the Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit, featuring river otters, bald eagles, coyote, red wolves, grizzly bears and a walk-through aviary — would open to the public July 20.

As a way to thank the county for its support through the zoo’s current tax levy, community days are taking place this summer, Criss said. Residents of Lakmore will be able to visit the zoo free of charge Sept. 1-5. Tickets are available through the Akron Zoo and the village’s Municipal Building, she said.

The next regular Council meeting will take place July 1 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 1400 Main St.

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