COMMENTARY: Dover High demolition will not damper alumni mission

With much sadness in our hearts, that dreaded day has come for our beloved high school will soon be but a memory.

As the demolition is underway of the former Dover High School located at 1 Pat Lynn Drive, local alums as well as those from around the world, many of whom attended last year’s Coming Home Reunion, are feeling great sadness these days as our high school comes down.

Just last June, thousands of alumni came home to their former high school to tour the school one last time, to say goodbye, see former classmates, old friends and former teachers. The good condition of the school had many alumni questioning why the school was being torn down. With much life left in the former building and a large sum of07dsn Dover High money having been more recently invested into the structure, the answer is best summed up under Title 14 of

Delaware Law where for a new school to be approved, the school being replaced must be torn down. And so ends any future use, in this case, of a building which has much life left in its’ structure and served as Dover’s high school for 48 short years.

Never in the history of the Capital School District has a high school been torn down! With the construction of a new high school, the former structure was utilized for uses befitting of the structure. The current Delaware law was hard-pressed into being by the Delaware Department of Education. One would think that the department would support all efforts of good stewardship in preserving a school structure, even if for another use, rather than leveling the bricks and mortar of a former school. But these are the times we live in; where poor judgment facilitates the waste of tax dollars.

While such law may take our school, our memories shall last a lifetime; for within each of us, the memories, spirit and greatness of our high school shall live on! From our beloved principals and teachers, the staff to the custodians, “they made” the Dover High School at 1 Pat Lynn Drive. As the school comes down, we shall not soon forget our leaders who lead, our teachers who taught their respective subjects with such great passion, nor the staff members who collectively played a monumental role in shaping the lives of nearly 18,000 students who attended the high school from 1966-2014.

While we alums may not agree with, nor completely understand why such a law exist in our great state, the Senator spirit shall carry forward regardless of the lack of bricks or mortar that once stood. Too, the efforts of the alumni association, which proudly supports the students of the Capital School District, will not be dampened; fore we are alumni who care about the students in the district and their future.

Today, more than ever, the mission of the Dover High School Alumni Association holds strong as we continue to provide scholarships for, and support, the educational efforts of the students of the Capital School District.

In keeping with the mission, the association recently presented three seniors with scholarships, $1,500 each. In addition to the scholarships, the association has recently provided $3,000 in funding for (3) specialized educational programs within the district including; The Leader In Me Program, Lego Leader (a robotics program), Board Marker (a speech/language and social skills program), all of which are excellent programs offering educational growth and future benefits for the students.

To continue funding the scholarships and educational programs, the alumni association raises funds through events as well as the sale of discount cards redeemable at local retailers in the area.

On the Fundraising Event Calendar for the month of June, the association is hosting a Scramble Golf Outing on June 12 at Maple Dale Country Club. The public is invited to take part in the outing where attendees are sure to have an enjoyable day. The cost is only $75 per person (maximum four per team) inclusive of: greens fees, cart, range balls, lunch and of course, a great time. Those interested may register or become an event sponsor by calling for 302-423-9944.

In addition to the golf outing, the association is hosting a night of live music with the great Johnny Neel; former Grammy nominee and Wilmington-born native who will make his way back to Delaware from Nashville, Tennessee for the venue.

Mr. Neel, who toured with Allman Brothers Band as their keyboardist, is known internationally for his wide range of musical talent, playing many of top hits from the 70s-90s as well as his own style of blues. In recent years, Mr. Neel has provided vocals on five songs included on four Walt Disney Records CD releases related to the Pixar Animation Studios movie releases; “Finding Nemo,” “Cars” and “Ratatouille”. Mr. Neel’s iconic voice is perfect for the undertaking.

The public is encouraged to attend the live event, which will be hosted at Grotto Pizza in Dover on Friday at 9:00 p.m. in their private room. Tickets may be purchased at Graces’ Handcrafted Fine Candy, Greentree Village Shopping Center, Dover. Last-minute tickets, if available, will be sold at the door. Tickets are $20 per person and will be required to enter the room.

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