The school board here is requesting ideas for what we can do with the remainder of the former grade school that can continue to be used. A public meeting was held almost 2 weeks ago. We were unable to attend it. Sounds like many other citizens were also busy. From what we were told, very few people showed up to discuss the matter.
I had quite a talk with a local gentleman this morning. He had some great ideas that I want to suggest here. Folks, plainly and simply, if we don't start doing something soon around here, we are going to see more and more people leaving our fine county. Yes, we are seeing some more people moving in but at the same time, we're seeing others leave. I strongly believe that now since we have an extraordinary grade school and a great junior/senior high school, more families will be happy to move to Leoti. Not only are our school buildings superior to many around the nation, we also have fantastic teachers and administrators. The result is that we have a SUPERIOR school system. Our students excel. Unfortunately, it is going to take more than a strong school system to keep Wichita County thriving.
In recent decades, Leoti had a movie theatre, a skating ring, a bowling alley and frequent dances at the former American Legion Hall (where the museum stands today). We had a few grocery stores, 2 hardware stores, 2 automobile dealerships, a few new clothing stores, etc., etc., etc. The recreational options that we had back then helped to keep those businesses running smoothly. As we lost the recreation, we began to lose the stores that we needed here to keep our town alive. When that began to happen, more and more people left town--for good.
Do you have any idea how many people we have working at jobs at such places as Caprock and Seaboard who do NOT live in the county? Many more than I want to admit. Why do they not live here? It is because when they accepted their positions, they took a good look around Leoti. They noticed that we have a small amount of stores available. They also noticed that there was very little recreation available for themselves and their children. Once they knew that, they chose to purchase homes in Scott City. Now, they have good paying jobs and homes in a town where there is recreation.
The man whom visited with me this morning, told me that he would love to see the former school building used for such things as a dance hall where frequent dances would be held. He suggested that music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, etc music be played. Hispanic, square dancing, etc could also be held on a regular basis. Even the people who do not like to dance, could get together and just have a good time.
Why not have special gatherings for hamburger feeds, public barbeques...? If we had various public options such as these, the people of Wichita County, etc could get together, get to know one another better and have a great time! If we did such things as this, more and more people would want to move to Wichita County and STAY here! If we don't start doing something along this nature, Leoti will eventually dry up and blow away.
We have an OUTSTANDING county fair every July. People from all over the world come here because they have heard just how remarkable it is. People from our county enjoy getting together and having a good time with one another. But...we only have 1 fair that just lasts for 4 days every year. If we would come up with more reasons to get together more often, I believe that we would all be better off. Our businesses would flourish. Maybe new businesses would come in. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.
Just some thoughts that I wanted to put out there. Do with them what you want.