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Hi, the taxes are sales taxes that would only be incurred as a result of the passage of the bond. The proposed building actually would sit in the parking lot that is in between the current "science" building and the vocational building. The new parking lot would be behind the vocational building. To reiterate the sales tax would not kick unless the bond passes and construction takes place. The sales tax is written in to the Project Development Costs.
The current parking lot is a bit treacherous in that students are crossing the parking lot 8 times a day to move between the vocational building and the science current science building. This can make for a bit of hazardous travel as sometimes pedestrians and drivers are not as alert as they should be. Great question and I hope I was able to clarify. Thanks.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am currently a physics teacher at Walla Walla High School so I certainly have an interest in the completion of this project. At first I was shocked by the $10,000,000 figure for a 10 classroom building. $1,000,000 per classroom how could that be? Fortunately, the district has published a bond fact sheet so I was able to find a bit of clarity (True Story). It turns out that the construction costs for a 25,000 square foot building and parking lot is $7,408,280. When the cost of the parking lot is removed the cost per square foot is $276.34. It is interesting to note that homeowners will also pay $659,337 in taxes on the project. The remaining development costs can be found on the Bond Fact Sheet.
Currently there are 11 full time science teachers on staff at Wa-Hi. Next year the number of science teachers will be reduced to 10 as we begin to adjust for College Place High School coming online. Additionally, we have 3 outstanding vocational teachers teaching cross credited science courses such as forensics. Currently there are 6 teachers teaching science in non-lab facilities. One of our biology teachers is teaching full time in a room without a sink! The students and teacher are required to utilize a bathroom in a locker lobby to clean equipment.
When College Place High School is in full operation we can expect between 300 and 400 fewer students. Preliminary numbers indicate that the reduction will be closer to 300 rather than 400. As a partial offset to the loss of students to College Place, the state legislature is on the cusp of increasing science requirements from 2 credits to 3 credits which will increase the number of students enrolled in science courses. I hope my comments have added relevant information to the discussion.
Jeff, thank you for all of the years of outstanding, photographs. Your work will be keenly missed by many of us in the valley. I hope you find much joy in your retirement.
Way to go big blue soccer! On to Spokane.
This was a great article. Walla Walla certainly has a long history of opposition to school projects at various times. It is interesting to note that the oldest parts of the Park street school were used for about 60 years by the school district before Wa-Hi moved to its present campus. I wonder if people were writing letters to the editor in 1962 about poor maintenance and needs vs. wants?
I suspect that the buildings on the current Wa-Hi campus will be used for well over 100 years. I have no doubt the community will come together to pass some sort of a construction bond within the next few years. I hope that we avoid our tendency to under build schools in Walla Walla. Sometimes poor construction decisions have made in order to save money. The science labs were too small in 1964 and will remain too small no matter how many students attend Wa-Hi. The auditorium has been undersized from the beginning. Some years this space cannot hold an entire class. The bleachers in the Green Park gym cannot be used during a basketball game as the bleachers extend into the gym floor!
Anyhow, I have faith that Wa-Hi construction will move forward at some point. Let's work together to balance physical plant needs and economic realities to provide a better school for our students.
Congratulations are in order for the communities of Richland and Touchet. This was an unfortunate loss for the citizens of Walla Walla. At some point a bond will pass to renovate the high school. I hope that interest rates and construction costs per square foot won't be too much higher at that time.
Both the number of teachers and administrators will be reduced when the CP high school opens. The number of students enrolled dictates the number of school employees. Some of the reduction in staff will be due to attrition though there could be a reduction in force (RIF) as well. The CP school district is under no obligation to hire any Walla Walla Public School Employees.
Sir, you are indeed wrong. Renee Heller is an 8th grade student at Garrison. I have had the pleasure of knowing her family for several years. She has a brother who recently graduated from Walla Walla High School which accounts for her familiarity with the school. I assure you that there is nothing nefarious regarding her letter. She serves as a fine example of a Walla Walla Public School student and there are many like her. She and many others will benefit from a modernized high school.
Mr. Donovan, I suspect that teachers and administrators would have some of the most objective observations regarding the state of the school. I concede that there will be surplus furniture when the CP students leave the system. There will be more worn out 50 year old desks from which to choose. I urge you to visit the high school and take a close look. I am certain you not find a collection of uncaring employees.
Mr. Phillips don't you live in College Place? I don't think you vote on this issue.
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