I, like, I am sure, most parents and citizens of Grand County, want the best for my kids and all the students of our school system. I do though have concerns when I see, just a few years into a sizable bond for our new elementary school, school officials pondering replacement of the middle school.
Like previous bond elections, we hear all kinds of reasons why this is an immediate need. We learn from the article that the middle school has antiquated water, sewer, electrical systems, and does not accommodate ADA requirements or Internet needs, and that the school is crowded. I’ve no doubt that all these systems are antiquated, but they can be replaced.
Crowded, no. With some 200 students, you would have 14-15 students per classroom. This building used to accommodate double that number. With diminishing enrollments, this building could be made to meet the need for decades to come.
On the upside, there is nothing noted in the article that can’t be remedied with a remodel. Why are we considering options B, C and D when, for half the money, we can accomplish option A. Option A offers further savings when you consider the district can sell surplus lands (the former Redrock Elementary) and keep in place many other components of the existing campus.
We are lucky to have the many talented volunteers as listed in the article. Under the leadership of Donna Metzler the city of Moab has a fine home in a building that, by all reports, was ready for condemnation. Mr. Whitney can readily advise of what can or can’t happen in regards to code compliance, while Dwight Johnston is available to help with some of the technical aspects of construction.
Mr. Webster states that, “a large component of the discussion will be how to pay for it.” I couldn’t agree more. Here we are two short years after our new hospital is finished and the administration is looking for the funding to fill the gaps. The taxpayer has been overwhelmed these last many years and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
I believe the only responsible option is the least expensive option, Option A, and then, only when it’s determined there is money to pay for it.