I appreciate the residents of our community who have seen our high school and are impressed with the beauty of the campus. In many ways it is lovelier than it was in the fall of 1964 when I entered as a 10th-grader.
Wa-Hi was then a 3-year-old school, grades 10-12, with about 1,500 students. It was an up-to-date school, one in which our community could take great pride.
Fifty years later, those citizens of Walla Walla who have taken the time to tour the school and look honestly at the facility can see the toll that time has taken. It is no longer an up-to-date facility, no longer adequate to meet the needs of students preparing for 21st century higher education.
The educators who work at Wa-Hi spend a great deal of time keeping themselves educated in the latest research-based teaching techniques. They care about providing the best education for their students. But all are handicapped in one way or another by the shortcomings of the facility.
This is especially apparent in the completely outdated science building.
The labs are the same ones I used 50 years ago, with the same equipment. Science has changed in those years. None of us would want to use a physician or dentist who refused to take advantage of new techniques and new equipment.
We would not even enjoy sitting in a waiting room without adequate heating or air-conditioning.
We certainly would not want to be wheeled into an operating room in which all the diagnostic and surgical equipment and techniques were those of a half-century ago.
Our students deserve to enter post-high-school education prepared to use and understand the latest techniques and equipment they will see in more up-to-date settings.
Our students deserve the best we have to offer now, not the best we had to offer in 1964. I urge the voters of the Walla Walla School District to take the first step in providing the quality facility our students deserve by voting for the new Science Building to address the most urgent need for Walla Walla High School.