When I first met Ray, I was an involved community member and local architect concerned about the abandoned Old School in Perry. Ray came forward with a vision, a commitment and the skills necessary to save the building from almost certain doom.
Over several years, I had the privilege of working closely with Ray through my architectural firm, as he developed plans, navigated the complex logistical and code shoals of adaptive re-use, and proceeded methodically to renovate the building classroom by classroom, recruiting commercial and residential tenants and a computer lab for the community.
Unable to find marketplace offers.
Ray’s vision and dedication brought this building from a potential liability into one of Perry’s greatest assets.
Now, more than a decade later as mayor, I can fully appreciate that Perry was then at a crossroads. The Old School could have become a lingering symbol of decline and disinvestment. Instead it became one of the first symbols of a Perry renaissance that is now in full throttle.
It always comes down to people. It was Ray’s dedication, his ability to think big, and his courage in tackling a 100,000 sq ft historic building that made the difference.