Jump to content
I think your comment, mspinks, regarding "10 classrooms...needed for one subject" is a revealing indicator that the district will need to do a good job in the upcoming month of explaining just what a huge school Wa-Hi really is. It's hard to fathom from the outside if you don't have kids there. As Doceo explains below, there are currently 11 full time science teachers, plus the Ag and CTE programs offer science courses.
There are no "additional projects" beyond simply replacing the lost parking spots nearby and creating access to the area.
I tend to be more libertarian on this issue, but Mrs. Rossi makes some really good points in this letter.
Barracuda, I'm interested to know what is it that you hear people saying that makes them appalled. The feedback from the "no" voters last year was to make the bond smaller and to focus on the greatest needs. Everyone who has taken a serious look at the challenges at Wa-Hi has put the science classrooms at the top of the list. The surveys said there was great support for a phased approach. Some also worried about the disruptive nature of remodeling existing buildings.
So, all of this is precisely what this bond takes into account. The facilities task force was recommending a larger bond, but the board didn't want to risk going too big and failing again.
Is it a matter of better explaining why science rooms are fairly expensive? Or reminding folks that the science building remodel was slated for $15 million? Or clarifying that every student at Wa-Hi takes a minimum of two years of science? Or publishing more photos and testimonials regarding the current limitations of those classrooms? I appreciate your openness to this bond, but what do others say they do not like about it? Thanks.
....and most importantly, this will give a tangible boost to the quality of science education for our kids!
The day after the vote, the district posted this page with links to the bond resolution and the breakdown of costs, plus a ton of other information.
This bond is:
reflective of what most agree is the greatest need at Wa-Hi,
responsive to the clear will of the voters to run these projects in smaller phases (made clear by multiple surveys),
supported almost unanimously by the numerous community members in
attendance at the decisive Tuesday board meeting (the ONLY objection raised was that the bond wasn't large enough)
now supported by the chair of the facilities task force
.......given all of this, I don't see why the community would not unify behind this. It is what the vast majority of voters said they wanted.
You raise good questions, mspinks. The district has been working to secure private money for the track. My understanding is that the track fundraising is nearing completion. My other understanding is that the next bond won't be run until after the Edison bond is retired, which, according to the district's website, amounts to $1.25 per $1,000 (which is a significant amount).
First, barracuda, I do appreciate your earlier indication that you are at least open to possibly supporting this bond. When you say, "they didn't hear us, I guess," I'm not sure who the "us" is. 53% of us wanted the whole package last year. 81% indicated in surveys that they would support phased projects, just like this one. Almost everyone acknowledges the science rooms are inadequate.
So, when critics want the Board to listen to "us", does that mean the 19% who want to do nothing?
As for contacting the Board, I have attended most of the meetings, including the decisive one on Tuesday where many people spoke and the ONLY objection to this bond was that it was too small. So since EVERYONE who showed up at the meeting thought this bond was just right or not big enough, how could the Board justify waiting a few more years and claim they were listening to the public. This is a compromise in favor of folks who want to do less. The task force's objection was that this bond was too small. The Board overruled them in favor of you.
The financial details will undoubtedly be laid out for the voters, as they were with the last bond. Remember, this bond is in response to critics like yourselves who said the previous bond was too large and too expensive and that the district should focus on its greatest needs, most notably the science classrooms.
So, that's what they did.
The 53% of voters who wanted the comprehensive bond, like me, are disappointed to have to make this compromise and to set aside our hopes for more progress sooner at Wa-Hi.
So, this compromise is for you, the 47%, and your first reactions are to wonder publicly about some secret plot? Very disappointing. I would suggest you raise your concerns with the district and get some answers first before you start spreading speculative rumors. This is first and foremost about kids, so it deserves more responsible dialogue from adults like yourselves.
My recollection was that the science building renovation was in the $10-$15 million range as part of the $68 million total cost. But renovation had two significant downsides: first, students had no adequate place to go for science during the year the building was being worked on; and second, even a renovation of that building didn't allow for certain features, such as raised ceiling heights, that would be ideal for science classrooms.
Simply put, a new building allows it to be done right, and with minimal educational disruption. It also creates surplus space in the old science building to be utilized as the other buildings get fixed sometime in the future.
Myinput, the task force doesn't disagree with the project; they just want to do more and to wait a bit longer to put together that larger proposal. The district has listened to and agreed with the task force recommendations in terms of the various projects that need to get done. The conflict here has to do with how to present the project phases to the voters, which is really the job of the Board to decide based on their numerous surveys and listening session.
Last login: Thursday, March 6, 2014
2013 Best Of The Best Winners
The latest wine and dine news.
The Valley's people, wine & food.
Find your way around the Valley.
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2014 Union-Bulletin. All rights reserved.