Judging from the Union-Bulletin’s recent survey regarding upgrading Walla Walla High School — as well as two school district-sponsored surveys — it’s clear that, well, nothing is clear.
The community is divided on what, if any, improvements should be made to Wa-Hi. Adding Lincoln High School to the mix doesn’t bring clarity.
One of the school district’s surveys, which was done via phone by Washington State University, had a defined number of responders and therefore should be more statistically accurate.
The other district survey and the U-B survey were of responders who were self-selected. Nevertheless, they have value. Those who responded tend to be passionate about the issue, many for a total overhaul of Wa-Hi and many wanting nothing done at this time.
The various surveys, looking at those who think some work at Wa-Hi is necessary, show that there is a level of support for some project.
All of this information gives the School Board a lot to chew on in finding the right balance to gain approval.
But whatever project the Board opts to take to the voters, it has to be a slam dunk.
School officials should feel certain the plan being put before voters will get at least 65 percent — maybe even break the 70 percent barrier.
Another failure to get more than the mandated 60 percent cannot occur. It would delay getting started on any Wa-Hi improvement by years.
At this point, the community is well-informed on the condition of Wa-Hi. Voters understand the options. Just over 90 percent of those responding to the school district’s Internet (Survey Monkey) poll said they had enough information to make an informed decision.
That could mean that the number of folks who will move from their current position via more information is likely a relatively small number.
So as the School Board and school district officials move forward, they should focus on what is needed and what will voters approve by at least 65 percent.
It might mean the proposal could be for only a few buildings at Wa-Hi (or Lincoln), maybe even one (such as the Wa-Hi science building, which was a very high priority for those who took the U-B survey).
The district might want to come up with several scenarios such as “science building only,” “science building and academic building,” “science building, commons and library” as options and then do more polling with if-then options.
Ultimately, the plan put on the ballot must be embraced by the community — and approved.