Driving by Bishop Conaty High School recently, I experienced a deep sense of nostalgia and an unexpected tinge of sadness. The years have not been kind to the school's surrounding neighborhood. Buildings in dire need of repair are covered with layers of graffiti; trash litters the streets and most stores are secured with iron bars. Indeed, the beautiful and imposing Gothic structure must startle those who happen upon it--an island of beauty amid a sea of seeming hopelessness.
I read about the decision to demolish the 65-year old structure and I was personally affected by it. Something is tragically wrong here.
My sisters and I attended Bishop Conaty in the early '60s and our memories of the school are treasured ones. At that time, tuition was only $15 dollars for the three of us, but nonetheless we received a quality education. Girls of every race and socio-economic level came from various parts of the city to share in a unique spiritual, social and educational experience. A sense of belonging and pride, youthful exuberance and respect for each other's differences characterized the special community that we shared at Bishop Conaty. If the archdiocese proceeds with its decision to raze the cherished high school, along with the brick and mortar, young dreams, aspirations and prospects for a better future will also be demolished.
RAMONA SALINAS SAENZ