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October 28, 1997

Congratulations to our school board, the administration and anyone else who had a hand in design work for the new addition now under construction at the Perry Middle School on Fifteenth street. They chose to maintain the architectural integrity of that handsome building by flowing the roofline and walls into the existing structure, making it a cohesive whole and not something that looks like an afterthought. Good planning. We appreciate the effort.

On another front, however, there's a problem at the high school parking lot which seems to be solvable with a little rearranging of things. I'm sure you've noticed the vehicles parked there on the south row with bumpers hanging out over the sidewalk, making pedestrian traffic impossible. If it's not the front bumpers, several pickups and cars are usually backed into the parking slots, resulting in even worse blockage. The sidewalks are there for the use of students and others, including those that don't drive to school each day, but as things stand the walkways are not accessible. Maybe a revised parking grid needs to be studied. It shouldn't be hard to fix.

If you haven't been by The Journal office lately, you need to check it out. An attractive maroon and white canopy now shelters the front door and small valances with the same pattern have been installed atop each of the exterior front windows. The U.S. flag, and Oklahoma state flag and a specially designed PDJ maroon and gray banner are flying from the upper front exterior, while potted plants enhance the sidewalk level. Then step inside where a completely new look awaits. The old dark paneling is gone, replaced by bright new wall covering. The ceiling has been lowered to enhance the lighting and sound quality, a new reception desk greets visitors, and workstations are being created for the news staff. Carpeting replaced the old asphalt or vinyl tile floor covering, and other improvements are planned or under way. They're not finished with it, but the attractive new look is worth your time. Stop by and see for yourself.

Just down the street from there, the Victory Baptist church folks also have improved the front of their location with large planters. Touches like that, plus the major renovation project at The Journal and the wonderful new look of our courthouse park, add a great deal to the appearance of our town. It shows a degree of pride that impresses visitors and pleases all of us. Are there some other improvements going on in our community? I've probably overlooked a few with this informal little report.

Congratulations to Sandy Hentges and the Perry Maroon bands for their outstanding achievements in recent competition. The long tradition of Perry band students in winning top honors at all levels is one that makes all of us proud and it's great to see still more honors being added to the list.