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Letters/My View

January 1, 2013

Letter: Fuller question must include school option

To the editor:

At this time of year when it is impractical to go dory rowing about 4/7 of the week due to wind, I spend time at the YMCA. So do a lot of other people.

The Y has a perfectly good, and warm, swimming pool. The gym and fitness areas are fine and I see a lot of use of the event areas for classes and birthday parties. The Y has expanded their activities to adjacent buildings on Middle and Center streets.

The place needs more investment in paint and polish and tile and modern utilities, but is not bad at all.

I hear complaints about parking for the Y but do not have trouble myself. If I do not take the bus, there are usually free parking spaces on Prospect Street near Ben’s, or in the Proctor Street lot.

Speaking of getting to the Y by bus or walking to it, particularly for the children who walk or bike, the present location is far more convenient than Fuller would be.

The Y is nonprofit, and I suspect the only way they would get the Fuller property is if they lease it from the city and leave some of the space for city offices.

That said, I do not understand why we would build a new West Parish and dispose of Fuller instead of putting the West Parish and Veterans students in Fuller and using Veterans for city offices that we are presently renting at the “City Hall Annex” on Pond Road.

I think using Fuller as a school should be on any referendum. It was extremely well built and is newer than some of the elementary schools that the School Committee likes.

We seem to be committed to a system of “suburban” schools to which all the children who live in the inner city are bused, since we closed all the schools downtown long ago. The closest one is Veterans in Ward 1, and, from Gorton’s to the Fishermen’s Memorial to Grant Circle to Fuller, there is no public elementary school. Children are bused to Plum Cove in Lanesville from the Grove Street and Maplewood Avenue area.

Does this make sense? Is this the system the School Committee wants to lock us into?

DAMON E. CUMMINGS

Washington Street, Gloucester

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