We need to
care for our slowly aging school buildings.
But, our need must be based on evidence -- not ego.
The forum on Sept. 14, 2016, in the Little Theater, presented some (not all) of the data. The intent of the forum was to present the "best solution," according to Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols.
But, the "best solution" did not present all of the options. The option, again being sold, is to demolish and replace all of the school buildings.
But, we could repair and modernize existing buildings.
And, as voters, please ask, " at what cost?"
Meanwhile, other key questions exist -- as follows:
1. Must we rush the decision to take on $90 million in debt for the "best solution" -- called Phase One of two phases?
Or, can we develop alternate plans -- stated in simple sentences, captured in writing and posted online?
2. Are construction costs really going up 1 percent per year? Thus, we must rush to buy now -- as the Superintendent seems to insist?
Or, will we see another economic recession, where jobs die, and construction costs drop by 20 percent °-- for a few years?
3. Must we accept the floor space specs promoted by then OSFC and based on data from the past?
Or, can we examine the impact of a super computer in the pocket of every student and base our decision on what will likely exist by 2026?
My guess is that sensible voters will examine the evidence and sort out the messages from the "special interest groups."
All I as is that you go inside these schools and look around. Talk to the janitorial staff, the teachers in the rooms, and other support staff.
Having attended Nordonia hills during their renovations, I can attest that renovation is never a gaurenteed good end resault. We had the main high school sinking faster then the new wings, so floor issues were consistently needing addressed. Then there were dozens of extra people in the building, proving to be a security nightmare for the school staff. And the noise. Constant, continuous, hammering, sawing, and air compressors, working away no matter what was going on.
Add to the age of some of these buildings, and this can quickly blow up to a price tag no one would be ok with.
If we build new buildings they will be more energy efficient, handle the electrical needs, and be fully ADA compliant. These are all very much needed and without interfering with students learning.