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The 97% is a "small group"? Compared to what......the population of China?
The 97% represents more than one thousand peer-reviewed, published climate scientists throughout the world. (In other words, the people who know what they are talking about.) Mr. Robles cites 16 "prominent" scientists who disagree?
What a condescending, ridiculous letter.
Viewing it as an investment is spot on. Our kids are certainly worth it, in and of themselves, but investing in high-quality schools also benefits the whole community in numerous other ways, as this letter points out.
Hopefully, the next bond will find enough common ground that we all can support it, even if it is smaller than some of us would like and larger than others would like. There is a special kind of energy when you live in a community that overwhelmingly supports its schools.
PearlY, based on the presentations I heard last year where this question was asked, my understanding is that the long-range estimate for future enrollment is quite stagnant. They expect very little or no growth. The bonds are for improving structures, not expanding them. I don't know if or where that might be found online.
As for capital projects, I would contact the district to get in touch with someone on the Facilities Committee. They could explain what they have studied better than I could. I know the Board is considering now how to approach the needs at Wa-Hi, while recognizing that Lincoln and a few other schools have their own needs. It's pretty clear that Wa-Hi has the greatest sense of urgency, but the long-term capital projects list of goals that everyone would like to see got a bit muddier when the Wa-Hi bond failed. That's my sense of it, anyway.
Sorry if I misread your comments earlier, Chas. I thought "these failures" in your first comment were referring to the building of the auditorium in the early 1990s, which didn't include drama rooms. I've re-read that and am still unclear, but I apologize if I misinterpreted you.
My reference to the series of buildings having "never" been remodeled for 50 years was specifically regarding the classrooms in the Academic and Science buildings, which, as I have come to understand from various sources, remain pretty much as they were in 1963. In retrospect, "never" is a big word, so that comment was a less than adequate description on my part. I imagine the main office area must have been transformed at some point in more recent history to what it looks like now?
Also, I haven't heard about the other fitness center you mention. I only know about the current one in the metal shed (which is actually more of a weight room than a fitness center). Just curious...where was the other one? Did they used to lift weights in one of the other gyms before they put up the metal shed?
Two places we apparently agree is on supporting the bond and that the U-B's editorial suggests February would be too soon for the district to run another bond. I think more groundwork and discussion needs to take place. My sense is that the district thinks so too.
Well said, schuelaw. Conflict drives ratings for today's media. Civility is sometimes hard to find.
Chas, a science teacher at the board meeting made a similar point to yours that whatever is done needs to be done well and with foresight. I've seen enough of the current "potential" plans to believe there is a lot of thought and wisdom in the designs.
The auditorium was built before I moved here, but my understanding was that its shortfalls were due to a compromise to keep the costs down and that "some day" the drama issues could be addressed. You might remember that more accurately, but that's what I've been told.
I wouldn't call the auditorium a failure, though. While it could be a bit larger, it has served as a marvelous place to watch numerous plays, musicals and concerts...and it should continue to do so for decades to come. It just needs an addition for the music department with actual practice rooms, so that the drama department can inherit the current music rooms. That's what the last bond tried to do.
I'm trying to think how this article could have spun last night's meeting more negatively...and I'm drawing a blank. Officials are "in a quandary" and "at a loss"?
Posing questions and looking for input is a healthy part of a process. It is not, as this article's tone seems to imply, a desperate cry for some semblance of guidance in a time of chaos and despair.
Of the two dozen people in attendance, various ideas and suggestions were put forward, but there were no major disagreements. No one was despondent. No one spoke in opposition to fixing Wa-Hi. It was a brainstorming session about how to do it, when to do it, and what "it" should be. It wasn't intended as a meeting for decisions to be made, as the district is still hoping to hear from more people in the community and from more staff members. It was a listening session with more listening to come.
Some key questions asked were:
1) When should the next Wa-Hi bond be put up for a vote? (February, April, August, November, or February of 2015?)
2) What should the bond look like? (One big comprehensive bond? (no one proposed this) Two half-sized bonds done in phases? One semi-large bond soon and we'll see if there is a way to address the other needs sometime in the future?
3) What does the community want and what will it support? 53% voted yes in February to the big bond, but that's not enough. 81% in surveys support some level of a remodel. Many of those supported a phased approach. What more can and should the district do to find out what will best address the needs of Wa-Hi and the needs of the community?
4) How and when do the needs at Lincoln and Pi-Hi get addressed?
5) Now that we've missed the golden opportunity for historically low interest rates on the last bond -- which would have been an incredible financing deal for taxpayers -- how does the district approach the PR for a new bond where whatever money is spent won't go as far as it would have otherwise?
All of this isn't a "quandary" any more than it is a "challenge" or an "opportunity." (Choose which word with which you wish to color your tone.) This is the reality that our community is facing straight on as it works through a deliberate and transparent decision-making process weighing the pros and cons of various options. Yes, these are big questions, but the mood in that room was more optimistic than pessimistic. You'd never guess it from reading this article.
I'd prefer the U-B would report the news without coloring it. The U-B article on the Oct. 22 meeting did the same thing.
Schuelaw, you are correct that the U-B hasn't covered the CP impact to Wa-Hi much. Over the next four years roughly 300-350 students are expected to move to the new CP HS, leaving roughly 1,500 at Wa-Hi. Currently, those 300-350 CP-bound students at Wa-Ha are housed in 16 portables that were originally meant to be temporary. After a Wa-Hi remodel, the idea is to be done with the portables and move all students into the main buildings, which can't be done currently.
While this will sound counter-intuitive on its surface, having a large Wa-Hi of 1,500 students (as opposed to a very large Wa-Hi of 1,850 students) doesn't really change anything about the Wa-Hi needs. Here's why:
After the CP students leave....
*The single-paned windows will stay single-paned
*The classrooms will still lack modern climate controls and be undersized (class population sizes will remain at 30+ students because state funding will be reduced for Wa-Hi when the CP students leave)
*The track will still be unusable and uninsurable
*The drama classes will still have no classrooms or storage capacity for sets and costumes
*The library will still remain in the 20th century
*The bus and car traffic patterns will still remain hazardous and the parking poorly designed
*The science rooms still won't have proper space or ventilation for labs
*The "fitness center" - if you can call it that - will still be housed in an over-sized rail car
And so on...
The reality is that at 1,500 students or 1,800 students, Wa-Hi is a 50 year-old series of buildings that have never been remodeled. The purpose of a remodel would be to improve educational opportunities, efficiencies and safety. It is not to expand. None of this changes when CP opens their new high school.
I hope that is helpful.
This has nothing to do with this letter, but I wanted to let Barracuda know I learned today that the school board is having a work session on Tuesday (11/12) at 6:30 p.m. to look further into the facilities planning for a potential Wa-Hi bond.
Can you provide a link to a summary of what you are referring to?
Last login: Thursday, November 28, 2013
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