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Vote Yes for school bond, levy
As someone who actively campaigned against the last bond issue, I would like to express my support for the current proposal. Without reciting the flaws that a majority of voters found with the former proposal, I can say that the District has remedied many of those prior shortcomings.
It has listened to the community about what a new bond should entail, it has communicated the impacts of operating what appear to be permanently overcrowded schools and it has gained a better understanding of the values of voters in terms of providing a great education versus demanding that great sums be spent on facilities to suit untested notions.
There was never a dispute about overcrowding, only about the shape of a reasonable solution. Adding one brand new elementary school, half a new middle school and several classrooms to the high school all share the common theme of addressing space for learning.
This proposal uses district-owned land, maintains reasonably sized elementary schools and preserves existing facilities from premature destruction, something former opponents find positive. At the same time, former proponents might like the new elementary school, where teachers can explore how new facilities might offer new potentials for learning. They might also appreciate a sound solution to overcrowding.
This bond also addresses another need. It accelerates the removal of preschoolers from a former school building, a facility which has the least structural integrity of any public building on the Island.
Questions do remain. Will the district work with parents and students to reduce the number of auto trips? If not, the district will need to spend serious money on traffic mitigation. Does this small district have the necessary capacity to wisely oversee a $100 million project? Maybe. In an ideal world, can quality public facilities be provided at a lower cost? No doubt. Are we going to change the state system of procurement with this bond? No.
I urge you to take a look and vote yes on a reasonable solution to solving real problems.