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The high school's needs go beyond simply adding HVAC and windows. While the original construction has proven to be quite sturdy, facilities wear out over time despite the best maintainance. According to the proposed site plan the majority of construction will take place on the existing foot print of the current buildings. Eight portable buildings will be removed corresponding to sixteen fewer clasroom spaces.
Max Carrera is clearly passionate about taking care of the needs of all Walla Walla Public School students. He has a true heart for kids and I understand and respect his decision although publicly painting onself into a corner is probably not good practice. That being said he is one member of the board. The school board does not vote as a block. I suspect other members of the board will vote to return any excess funds to the community. We will know for certain when the board reconvenes to act on the issue.
It would appear that Janrocks most likely never intended to vote "yes" in the first place. Why would a person's vote hinge on the opinion of a single school board member before votes are cast and policy is set? I will watch with interest when the board makes their decision.
Have you been driving the same car since 1964? If so, I bet you have put some money into the car especially if high school age people occupied most of the seats for 180 days every year. Perhaps that old car from 1964 has been great transportation but is it the safest and most efficient transportation for today?
Walla Walla High School has been well maintained over the years but all facilities wear out over time and new efficiencies can be can be achieved. One of the wonderful things our community has been able to do is preserve some of the great old school buildings. Green Park and Sharpstein are the primary examples though one might consider the Washington School building an example as well. A modernized Wa-Hi will likely see us through the next 50+ years.
I would suggest that the community is being given the opportunity to update an older facility. Staffing will need to adjust with or without the modernization project. In a way the issues are separate as long as district leadership is planning for the proposed construction to account for the predicted changes in enrollment.
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.
When the new College Place high school is in full operation there will be need for fewer teachers at Walla Walla High School. Like every other public high school in Washington funding for teachers, principals and support staff is allocated from well established formulas. As such the number of personnel required to operate Wa-Hi will necessarily shrink. The decrease in operating revenue will be matched by a decrease in staff. As with any organization labor comprises the greatest costs. These costs will be reduced with fewer teachers at Wa-Hi.
The common school movement is foundational to our democracy. As such our schools should be some of the most important and well maintained buildings in our community. Surely most voters will agree that $48 million dollars is a large sum. I would argue that when the cost of the bond is shared by the entire community the the cost per household is quite reasonable. Please join me in voting yes for modernizing Walla Walla High School. I believe that spending 68 cents per thousand dollars of the assessed value of my home is a bargain for what our community will gain from this project.
Last login: Monday, November 25, 2013
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