[b]The following is taken from the editorial section of the local newspaper in Rockingham.
“In order to save a considerable amount of money, Rockingham’s century-old town hall should be torn down and replaced by the larger and more energy-efficient building that some citizens have proposed. The old town hall is too small to comfortably accommodate the number of people who are employed by the town. In addition, it is very costly to heat the old hall in winter and cool it in summer. The new, larger building would be more energy efficient, costing less per square foot to heat and cool than the old hall. Furthermore, it would be possible to rent out some of the space in the new building, thereby generating income for the town of Rockingham.”[/b]
Though the author has a novel intention and the best interests of Rockingham in his/her mind, there are many aspects that need to be considered before one can jump to the conclusion of bringing down the town hall.
First of all, the opinion of the entire population of Rockingham needs to be taken into account and not just the proposal of a few citizens who have come forward with this idea of a new energy efficient building. It might as well turn out that the town as a whole would want to preserve the old town hall as an architectural relic or for any other reason would not want it to be destroyed.
The author also claims that the town hall is a small place for accommodating all the people employed by the town. But the town hall may be big enough a space for an average attendance on any given day thus negating the need for a bigger space for the same. The author to back up his claim has provided no such data.
Even if the proposal to build an energy efficient building in the place of the town hall is passed by the citizens, the economic factors need to be considered before proceeding further. The cost of destruction of the building and the construction of the new structure might turn out to be a big burden on the administration of the town and subsequently on the citizens of the town.
Last but an equally important aspect is the space consideration for the bigger structure. The author has not touched upon the land availability at the site of construction. Also the new structure might be energy efficient, but will not serve the purpose if the total cost for the heating and cooling the structure exceeds that of the present building.
In spite of all these flaws in the argument, the author is right in his/her expectation of generating revenue for the town by means of renting out the space in the new structure. If the author can provide sufficient data in the economic aspects of the construction and also the figures showing the necessity for such a structure and the favourable public opinion, then his argument of building the new energy efficient building might receive some credibility.
TOEFL listening lectures: A lecture from a social sciences class