Bond will improve music, drama

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While science rooms and heating systems at Walla Walla High School have received much attention, I’m advocating for what the bond will do for the music and drama programs.

I am a Wa-Hi alum, Music Booster president, and a parent who was born and raised here. With the passing of this bond, the music and drama programs will be brought far closer to the level of facilities they need and deserve.

As you may know, Wa-Hi’s music, drama, band and orchestra programs are run by incredibly talented teachers, whose programs are often recognized as among the best in the state. For years, these dedicated educators have benefited our students beyond measure, as well as adding to the life and culture of our community.

They and their students contribute much to the positive aspects of what it means to live here in Walla Walla. When the pep band blasts out energized music at a basketball game, or the mixed ensemble donates its time to sing at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, or the drama department puts on an unforgettable performance of “The Sound of Music,” we all benefit. These programs deserve our high praise and our high support.

It’s amazing to see them work with their current limited spaces. Since the “new” auditorium was built 20-plus years ago, these programs have grown dramatically. Did you know the drama department has no classroom, no dressing rooms and no space to design and properly store its sets? Did you know the drama, choir, band, orchestra and guitar classes share only two rehearsal rooms and one practice room?

If students can accomplish what they do within the confines of their current limited spaces, imagine what they could do with proper facilities — how much more they could learn, grow and ultimately share of their emerging talents!

It’s our role as a community to reward excellence and enhance learning, not stifle it due to limited facilities. Now is the time to return our thanks and demonstrate our appreciation. They have earned upgrades and an expansion worthy of their efforts.

We are a better place to live when our schools are properly designed not to confine the imaginations of our students, but to nurture them, and encourage more of the great work being done. This portion of the remodel represents less than 7 percent of the total cost, but will make a huge difference for these programs. Please join me in voting “yes.”

Clarice Swanson

Walla Walla

Comments

namvet60 1 year, 2 months ago

What does that tax(levy) from a year ago do to enhance any of the above for the students - isn't this kind of like double dipping. Almost like paying taxes upon taxes upon taxes. Just wonderin?

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fatherof5 1 year, 2 months ago

Levies pay for general educational programs and operational costs. They don't build new buildings. Levies make up about 20 percent of the school district’s operating budget and provide funding for extracurricular and co-curricular activities, including sports, music and drama. According to the U-B, "Levy dollars help keep class sizes lower and help fund staff training programs. Salaries of more than 100 employees of the school district are funded through the levy." Despite rising costs, the School Board kept the 2012 levy at previous levels due to the poor economy. Unlike Walla Walla, most districts ask for the full amount that the state allows.

So, the levy might help to hire the music and drama teachers and maintain the programs year after year, but the bond is what would be used as a one-time expense to upgrade their facilities.

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namvet60 1 year, 2 months ago

Your like a volcano - it just keeps flowing and flowing and flowing!

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fatherof5 1 year, 2 months ago

You were essentially asking the difference between a bond and a levy. I was explaining it to you because you were mixing them up. Were you being rhetorical?

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fatherof5 1 year, 2 months ago

I believe the bond will pass because this community supports education and recognizes that the benefits of this bond outweigh the costs. This bond is an improvement from the 2006 bond and people appreciate the modifications and various ways this bond seeks to cut costs. Most of all, they value kids and know that after 50 years, it is time.

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namvet60 1 year, 2 months ago

Construction done 50 years ago was much better and held up longer than todays construction. So in that case if you are being downgraded for quality I would imagine that a couple more years wouldn't hurt anything in fact it might be cheaper. They may even come up with some better ideas!

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