A GUARDIAN READER VIEW
It seems odd that the Boise School District’s final spin cycle is beginning with an attack on their opponent’s spin?
The only thing they’re taking issue with, at least so far, is the accusation that “maintenance funds” were used to build their new administration building on Victory Road.
From this voter’s perspective, that $15 million is a tiny piece of the pie. I’m not convinced it makes economic sense to tear down older buildings in order to build new ones. They don’t build ’em like they used to. As a friend in the neighborhood said about 60-year-old South Junior High, “Do you think the new building will still be around, 60 years from now?”
Those millions spent on new buildings could do some AWESOME remodeling! (I speak as a voter who attended East Jr. High, and whose 4 kids attended South… the last one still there.)
Meridian passes bond after bond because their population is growing exponentially. The fact that we need new buildings in Boise, despite shrinking enrollment… now THAT’s a real noodle-scratcher.
One thing about those miserly Ada County Property Owners – they’re using private funds for their informational (or misinformational, depending on who you ask) campaign. Maybe Dan Hollar and his cronies should be focusing his pro-bond campaign (sponsored by the taxpayers, by the way) on why we should vote FOR the bond.
IF this bond fails, it will be because voters can see “poor management” on the part of the District–not because the opponents tricked people with radio ads.
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Mar 2, 2006, 12:31 pm
Maybe someone could explain this to me. Why doesn’t the district sell the property where some of the schools are, and buy new, nearby property? I would HATE to have my kid going to the school at Cole and Fairview. That intersection is one of the busiest in thestate. That would have to be some VERY prime real estate, that could generate quite a bit of funds to build a newer, nicer school near by. What about the one at the corner of Franklin and Orchard? That is another one on some fairly prime commercial real estate. It seems to me that it would be better to put the schools further back into neighborhoods, and get them off of main arterial roads in our city, as well.
Mar 2, 2006, 3:05 pm
Students in older neighborhoods deserve to have the amenities that students in new schools benefit from. South Junior High is a concrete building. Wiring for computers cannot be put in walls. This is a major problem. Also, the students do not have science labs like other junior highs. The classrooms are very small compaired to other schools as well. Tax payers in the South Junior High area have paid taxes for years to support new schools in other places. It is time for our children to receive new schools that will meet the needs of today’s learners. We also feel that a new South Jr. High will attract families back into our area and help with the revitalization of the Bench. Please, vote for this bond. Our students deserve equal resources to be educated.
Mar 3, 2006, 9:21 am
I can’t speak for Kar’s background or historical perspective, but as a relatively long-time observer, I think back on Boise High (my alma mater).
Several years ago, BHS was targeted for demolition / replacement by this very same Boise School District. (As I recall, for essentially the same reasons as they want to replace schools now.)
There was a public outcry against the idea. Instead of being replaced, the school was remodeled, renovated, and expanded.
As of today, BHS is likely “THE” high school in our area, for academic excellence. They have very nice facilities, the students excel in every way that can be measured. (I might add… the neighborhoods surrounding Boise High don’t seem to be ghettos, either.)
What could be done at South Junior High, or East Junior High, with even HALF of the $15 million cost for replacement?!?
Sorry, but I’m not buying the “We voted for YOUR tax increase, now it’s OUR turn” argument.
Regarding Cole School, I believe it’s a unique situation. My understanding is that it was gifted to the school district with the express understanding that it would be used for a school. And if that use was abandoned, the property would revert back to the Cole family. Indeed, when kids started attending Cole School, Fairview was a dirt road, and Cole was probably best described as a goat-trail.
Mar 3, 2006, 9:39 am
Kar said “Our kids deserve…” “our kids deserve”. With that kind of entitlement mentality “our kids” may well grow up to be School Administrators, Elected officials or union teachers. What ever happened to seeing the glass half full, teaching “our kids” to be grateful and appreciative of what they have, impressing upon “our kids” that respect for all property (their own and that of others) is priority, and that you can’t eat paper and $#!* money to pay for new schools. We have replaced those things with an all-too-nasal-whine-of-they-got-more-than-we-got. Not very becoming and not very effective.
Mar 3, 2006, 9:56 am
Regarding the glass being half empty or half full. I have the LOGICAL answer which is: Depends on whether you are drinking or pouring.
Mar 3, 2006, 12:46 pm
Tam and Steve, older neighborhoods have paid taxes so Boise High School could be rebuilt, and remodelled. We also supported the building of other new schools in the Boise School District. The fact is that I went to South Junior High and it needed a lot of work when I went there. I think that you two have not been in the school and then gone to another junior high in the area to see how South Jr. high is truly lacking. Also, the North End in certainly not impoverished, but have you driven in our neck of the woods lately? There are a lot of homes that need some reinvestment. Having new schools would encourage people to invest in remodelling their houses. This is a positive.
I live in a house built in the 1950’s and certainly see the value in restoring and preserving the value of quality workmanship. However, I challenge you to visit South Jr. High and see if preservation trumps rebuilding.
Yes, Tam, I do believe our students “deserve” better. Does that always mean a new buidling? No. The elementry school my students attend is very old and it still is suitable for educating our students. However, it is acceptable to admit when something needs to be changed. If a child needed to write a paper would you hand them a typewriter and tell them that is all they need when all other students have a computer? Of course not! Let me clarify, our students do not “deserve better than others”, just equal.
Mar 3, 2006, 5:09 pm
Kar… as mentioned before, I don’t know your background. It’s interesting that you attended South.
You may be interested… I didn’t attend South, but I’ve had children who were/are students at Sonth since about 1992. 4 of ’em. Each unique; one is an overachiever (despite those deplorable conditions you describe at her school)… the others are closer to average, academia-wise. My youngest daughter is an 8th-grader at South. (It goes without saying that they’re all well ABOVE average, overall!)
I try to be an involved parent. I’ve been attending parent teacher conferences, open houses, athletic events, and music concerts REGULARLY at South. I’ve walked those hallowed halls several times this year already. (I’ve also been at several other junior high schools… attending my daughter’s “away” basketball games.)
If South is crumbling, I’m not seeing the evidence. You say the concrete walls are a barrier to technology. I’m a computer geek by profession; you may be interested to know that wiring can be strung above dropped ceilings. And we now have the technology to punch lovely, perfectly-round holes into even 60-year-old concrete.
(My house, just over a mile from South, was built in the early ’40s… I’ve found newspapers from that era stuffed into various nooks and crannies. I’ve lived within 1.5 miles of South Junior High since 1975.)
South’s auditorium is AWESOME! For vocal performances in particular, there is nothing even comparable at any of the other middle schools in town. The acoustics, due to that solid concrete construction, are like those in a church sanctuary. (I’ve been singing, playing, and listening in that hall for 40+ of the years it’s been there.)
All of that said… I’m not saying preservation trumps replacement. But I’m quite skeptical. The school district hasn’t made their case; I continue to ask the question… what kind of preservation/renovation could be done for less money than replacement? Now, rather than trying to convince me, they’re spending their time and energy in a “pissing match” (excuse my French!) with the Property Owners.
Mar 6, 2006, 9:43 am
I still want an explanation of why, when a new school is built, there is so much extra land around it. A couple of schools I pass during my daily chores have acres of green fields, which required watering and mowing half the year. There are rarely any children actually using these huge play yards. What a waste.