News From Terre Haute, Indiana


August 19, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Aug. 19, 2012

Positive elements to canopy project

I am writing this letter in response to your two articles on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8 announcing the canopy installations for some of the Vigo County schools.

First of all, I would like to say that I am in support of the project, and I know many parents who are also in favor of it. I want to commend the corporation for the consideration in meeting this need for the students. I hope that our community members look very closely at the positive impacts these canopies will provide for our children and our community.

Your two articles proved the positive student and parental feedback on the project. I feel those who are not actively involved in the day-to-day operations of our local schools are unable to understand this need.

The cost of the canopies is $78,000 for 13 schools. I respectfully ask that our community does not focus solely on this. It seems a huge amount. However, when the past canopy estimates are minimally computed and compared, the difference between the two costs are $14,000 per canopy versus $6,000. When considering the costs incurred based upon each canopy cost of $14,000, the total cost of 13 canopies are $182,000.

A good point to note is the cost of this proposed project will not exceed $78,000, which means the Vigo County School Corp. will not be responsible for anything beyond this amount. Furthermore, there is no doubt these canopies will be durable, because they will be constructed by professionals.

There are many benefits that will result from this project. The foremost benefit is the students will be safer and it will be more convenient for them in all types of weather. These entryways are not just being seen as a need for the children by the administrators; parents and students alike have determined this need and have already been attempting to meet it.

Currently, some canopies have been provided by the Parent-Teacher Organization. For instance, Deming Elementary School’s PTO has spent at least $200 in the past few years purchasing canopies to protect the children from poor weather conditions.

Many items within schools are replaced constantly, but items such as the outdoor American flags and canopies are among those that fall to the wayside. However, these things make an indirect impact on our students’ well-being and performance which results in a more comfortable learning environment. These items also demonstrate an architectural value as well by promoting a healthy interest and appreciation in fine arts for our current and future generational residents of Terre Haute. The community input and participation adds the historical value to our community.

Another impressive element of this project involves the emphasis of the use of sustainable materials. Mr. Piker expressed to me that the company’s first goal is to seek out those materials which can be salvaged from landfills, demolition sites, etc.

Lastly, this project most certainly includes local businesses and organizations tied to the city of Terre Haute. BSA Lifestructures, Freitag Weinhardt, and American Structurepoint are all businesses that have some type of connection to Terre Haute.

In addition, the Vigo County Educational Foundation supports the project, as well. Not to mention the fact that Matthew Won Piker, owner of the Majeur Won, is a result of the fine education Vigo County has rendered worldwide.

Both the Vigo County School Corp. and Majeur Won have expressed their deepest desires for community feedback. If anyone has questions about the canopy structures, I urge citizens to contact Majeur Won with them at I emailed them with some in-depth and lengthy questions, and I received a rapid and thorough response back from Mr. Piker within 45 minutes.

I know I am not alone when I say I appreciate the genuine concern and passion for the well-being of our local children that the corporation exhibits.

Thanks, Mr. Tanoos.

— Tamera W. Rhodes

Former Deming Star and parent of Deming Stars

Terre Haute

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