While having passion for a particular cause might be noble, known facts and expert opinion ought to be the basis for one's actions regarding something as important as the upcoming referendum. I hope responsible voters will be able to discern between "feelings" and "facts" when it's time to vote on March 12.
Over the past year, the strategic planning committee developed a proposal based on facts and expertise. Several of the district's school buildings are well below current standards. Knowing all of the required codes and using today's technology, these experts have not recommended attempting to bring buildings up to code due to the costs involved and the overall new space needed, district-wide.
While the "Vote No" committee members are well meaning people, their "research" has consisted of pacing off distances (Franklin room size averages 660 sq. ft., not the 1200-1600 sq. ft. as reported by them), holding their hands up to the windows to determine if there is a draft, and placing vise grips on water valves, for example. (Even the Taj Mahal would required costly repairs to bring it up to code as a school building!)
There have been numerous misquotes and erroneous figures listed in Dispatch Open Forum letters by these committee members. The strategic planning committee, again, based their recommendations on the expert finding of engineers and architectural personnel. It would appear the "Vote No" committee, in their SINGULAR attempt to avoid or delay the inevitable tax increase, did not. The experts also agree that delaying a building project will result in higher costs to taxpayers in the future when considering materials, labor and interest rates.
The "Vote No" committee has tried to introduce a 'fear factor' when stating that fifth graders should not be in the same school as eighth graders. This, too, has been answered by the experts, who guarantee separate entrances and separated parts of the building. I was in a school that housed kindergarten through twelfth grade. At no time did the seniors cause trouble with the junior high or elementary students.
I have worked at Franklin Junior High for many years. The building has many problems that cannot meet the demands of today or tomorrow. We are living in one of the fastest growing areas in the state. I support the findings of the experts and the facts that will prepare us best for the future.
The "Vote No" committee gets an A+ for passion. Unfortunately, they receive an "Incomplete" for their gathering and presentation of factual information.
(Peterson is a Franklin Junior High secretary and a resident of Crosby.)
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