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This Day In Norwood History-February 9

Redecorating Of School Interiors Is Recommended

Purchase Of Land For New Stands At High School Also Urged By Supt. Lynch

This photo of a Winslow School classroom circa 1920 is a gift of Sylvia Stanton of Walpole, 2004

Recommendations for the improvement of the present school plant before the town faced with the problem of new construction were advanced by School Superintendent Lincoln D. Lynch, as principal speaker at the February meeting of the Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night at Holman Hall.

Dwelling primarily on the effect of classroom surroundings on the development of the child. Lynch urged consideration be given to the redecorating of the interior of the schools. He further solicited support of the proposed purchase of land in the rear of the High School athletic field to provide for the erection of new spectator stands, and also outlined the School Committee’s proposal for the rebuilding of the high school tennis courts into a multi-service, year-round play area, which it has been estimated can be constructed at a cost of $25,-000.

Pointing out that some of the schools in Norwood had not been redecorated in 30 years. Lynch urged that consideration be given to the possibility of redecorating the buildings to eliminate some of the hazards that do not allow the child to grow at his best. As arguments, he described how studies have that improper lighting and heating cause the child to deviate from normal performance. He explained that light, color, temperature, sound, and gravity are all surrounding energies that are apt to cause conflicts, and to which the physical organism is compelled to adjust itself. He emphasized that in order for the child to learn best and develop properly, he has to be free to adjust himself in a comparatively satisfying manner.

Lynch had slides projected on a screen to illustrate how light glare and improper lighting, and improper work surfaces can cause a torque in the child’s spine. The pictures also showed how remedial measures can be readily applied.

Lynch told of methods to control natural lighting so as not to create confusion by the simple expedient f redecorating to bring light into normally dim areas. The lighting of ceilings, baseboards, and floors, as well as desk surfaces, will eliminate glare and sharp contrasts be brought out and blackboards too might well be a lighter color than the customary black. Better lighting can be achieved in many ways, he continued, mentioning as one time installation of new fixtures scientifically arranged above a translucent material which makes “solid light”, eliminating all glare and shadow.

Norwood schools, Lynch emphasized, are extremely ill-lighted. The desks and woodwork are dark, he stated, and for a half of century they have reeked of old oil.

The School Committee, he said, with the cooperation of the Finance Commission, has been able to have funds made available for exterior work on school buildings and that in another year the exteriors will be perfectly protected. He strongly urged that now the interiors should be, redecorated before the taxpayer is burdened in the future with new school construction.

Continuing his discussion of the Norwood schools on a more general theme, Lynch stated that pupils who will be living in new houses in the town which will have been built by 1951 can be taken care of by the present facilities. He discussed in some detail the present town growth mentioning, in particular, the areas of Ellis avenue, the rear of Callahan School,. Tamworth road and upper Winter street. He anticipated that 400 family units would move into the Callahan District within two years, which poses the problem cither of providing additional school facilities there or carrying out redistricting so as to make available for using the existing facilities at the Junior High and Balch Schools, where there is now ample room.

Speaking of the problem of acquiring additional land in the rear of the High School to provide for new seating facilities at athletic events, Lynch said that the present bleachers had deteriorated to such an extent that they should be scrapped for safety’s sake. The School Committee, he said, was “worried’’ about the structural weakness of the bleachers, and he asked the support of the proposal to acquire the additional land while it was still available. The present land allows only 22 feet for stands, he said, and it would be impossible to erect a new and modern grandstand of sufficient height on the present area. He estimated the cost of a new grandstand, with dressing rooms underneath, between S25 and $30 a seat.

In advocating that the present bleachers be torn down, he said that the required land should be purchased by the town and at least a section of the proposed new stands started.

Lynch was introduced by vice president William Hyland. No new business was discussed during the meeting, the evening being devoted almost exclusively to the school discussion.

Charles L. Donahue, temporary chairman of the New Community Council, addressed the Chamber briefly regarding plans for that organization after which the Chamber voted to join the Council and to be represented by two members.

Joseph L. Silvestri, the proprietor of Rose Ann’s Pastry Shop, was welcomed as a new member of the Chamber.

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