Wednesday, August 08, 2012

When alumni get mad, miracles happen

This . . .

. . . is the last I saw of my alma mater, Baton Rouge Magnet High School. I took these photos in October 2007.

Baton Rouge High is my hometown's best high school -- one of the nation's best, actually -- filled with talented, high-achieving students. Literally, filled with what hope a poor, dysfunctional state can count on for the future.

The facilities they inhabited pretty much showed them what a city and a state thought of them -- and about its future.

THEN enough alumni saw enough of what had become of the grand old school at 2825 Government St. And they got mad. And the engineers told the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board that the piddly repairs that had been scheduled for the campus were wholly insufficient -- indeed, impossible, given how far gone the facilities were.

So, in response, the school board considered tearing down the whole campus -- including the main building, a Gothic masterpiece built in 1926. And Bulldog alumni got really mad.

What grew out of that was a miracle. Just look at this grand tour of the school taken Friday by Channel 2 in Baton Rouge, WBRZ.

FIVE YEARS AGO, I was heartbroken at what I saw of my old school. No more.

Today, my heart soars. Investing in your children -- and in the places most important in their lives -- is never, ever a mistake.

These are the things futures are made of.

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