Modernized Wa-Hi needed to compete in 21st century

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Modernizing Walla Walla High School will help us better serve students. We can increase teaching space to help educate students and build a stronger community.

Each year, students enter Wa-Hi and faculty help prepare them to compete in the 21st century using a space designed for education before 1964. Please help us modernize Wa-Hi and vote yes on Feb. 12!

Students will become more competitive in global job markets. We pack 21st century learning into classrooms that contained a slide projector, chalk board and record player in 1964.

Today's students need to work on computers, have Wi-Fi access for their tablets and Kindles, view complex math, science, technology and world events on computer projectors, and complete science labs in safe environments. Let's hardwire computers, LCD projectors, document cameras and other technology in classroom walls, versus running wires across floors beneath rubber mats and cord covers that collect dust and serve as trip hazards.

Administrators, counselors and teachers do a good job planning schedules that allow us to work with 1,850 students each day. However, students need more space to eat lunch. On November 25th, we returned from Thanksgiving break. It was 30 degrees outside with freezing fog. I walked toward the Commons from the Academic Building at Lunch time. A group of young ladies were seated on the cold, hard concrete braving freezing weather conditions while eating lunch.

They will eat outside all winter because the Commons at Wa-Hi is filled to capacity and does not have enough space for all students to eat comfortably.

Finally, our single-pane windows, two staff bathrooms in the Academic Building for over 150 adults, yellow florescent lights, "antique" desks with chairs attached from 1964, open metal grates filled with dust and large spiders, bathroom sinks that only run cold water (even after the janitors fix them), and classrooms that are 80 degrees by 9 a.m. in August, September, October, April, May and June, need your attention.

Wa-Hi outlasted people's expectations thanks to the great care given to it by faculty, staff, students, administration and all of the countless people who have repaired things at Wa-Hi since 1964.

We have an outstanding community. Wa-Hi needs modernizing -- your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren need it. Vote yes Feb. 12!

Michelle Higgins

Walla Walla

Comments

barracuda 1 year, 4 months ago

Wa-hi has about 2000 students and we are losing about 400 of them. With the loss of 400 College Place students comes with a 20% of decrease in Wa-Hi's operating revenue. This is revenue we have to come up with out of our pockets. Maybe this would be a good time to have the WW School District explain where they are going to cut 20% of the expenses. Or, are they expecting us to come up with that extra expense too? Are there going to be lay-offs? Programs discontinued? And are these layoffs/cuts going to take place as we remodel/upgrade the building? There is nothing good about the timing of this bond. VOTE NO.......

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Doceo 1 year, 4 months ago

Operating expenses will be reduced by over 20% for two reasons. When the College Place High School is in full operation there will be fewer teachers at Wa-Hi. The single greatest expense in any organization is labor and as a result costs will be reduced. A modernized facility will be much more efficient as such it will cost less to heat the building in the Winter. One might argue that there will be some increased cost in late spring and late summer cooling but that is probably a good trade off for classrooms having temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Please vote yes for the bond to mondernize Wa-Hi.

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fatherof5 1 year, 4 months ago

You make so many good points, Michelle, that it reminds me of just how many long-neglected issues this bond will address. Hot rooms, cold dining, too few bathrooms, old furniture, inefficient windows, small spaces, old technology, and even spiders :) ...not to mention how this bond fixes the parking mess, the music rooms and the outdated athletic facilities (i.e. new weight room, new track, new tennis courts) and more.

You are right to point out how impressive it is that Wa-Hi has lasted this long without a remodel, which is indeed a testament to the people dedicated over the years to its preservation. But my goodness, it's time. The people who argue "now is not the time" probably said the same thing six years ago and will be saying the same thing in another ten years. But those aren't the people I'm talking to in town and at my church who say they are voting 'yes'. I think there is a growing recognition that it is time. How can we not do this for our kids?

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