Letter to the editor: Two basic issues in request for bond issue
We see two basic issues related to the Jamestown Public School Board’s request for a bond issue; a change in education practices and aging/worn out infrastructure.
We all agree that our children will determine the future of this country. We also all agree that education is important to their future and ours. Where we disagree is in how education should be delivered and under what circumstances.
Children today learn in different ways than we did or our children did. Access to a vast amount of information comes electronically. Therefore, children today need to be taught how to access information; how to evaluate and use information; how to collaborate; how to problem solve; how to succeed in an ever-changing world; etc.
So school facilities need to support this kind of learning. Classrooms need to provide necessary connectivity and space to allow collaborative projects. Existing facilities need to be modified to provide safe, secure, environments.
We were involved in discussions for several years before we retired about serious issues with some of these buildings. While efforts have been made over the years to handle the worst of the issues (i.e., the old high school/junior high), basic problems remain; asbestos, heating systems already beyond their useful life, elevators need replacing, windows and roofs need replacing, and on and on.
For the past six years, meetings have been held, research and planning have been conducted with innumerable opportunities for community involvement. The Citizen’s Advisory Committee has worked with a team of experts to establish a long-range, comprehensive plan. The committee has come to believe this is the most efficient and cost-effective solution.
Washington needs replacing. Current planning makes use of the old building instead of demolishing it, saving a great deal of money. This would include the space surrounding the building and provide the opportunity to upgrade our sports facilities by relocating the football stadium to the high school.
Gussner, Lincoln, Roosevelt and the middle school all have safety issues, window replacement issues and heating/air quality issues. Expansion of Louis L’Amour will be needed to provide for displaced students from Washington.
These are only a few of the issues to be addressed if this bond issue passes. We encourage you to stop by the office in your neighborhood school to pick up a brochure that explains the entire plan in detail or talk to an administrator, board member or a community member of the committee.
Whatever your feelings on this issue, please vote. This is an important election for the future of our children and our community and should not be settled by a small percentage of the community. We all have a stake in the results.