When my husband ran for the school board recently he participated in a debate held by the Independent Record. In that debate he said that he could not support $8 million for Central School as it was going to be turned into an administration building by 2022.The IR reported only the first part of this quote, leaving people to believe that he was not in support of Central School.
I am not alone in believing that the purposes of this school bond are not straightforward. There are many examples to realize that the current bond closes and/or repurposes schools. One example is that this bond calls for overbuilding by 758 seats. This amounts to approximately three schools! Ellen Feaver, a proponent of the bond, states (IR May 14) that the extra space is for programs. That’s an awful lot of programs.
The bond language calls for classrooms in the other schools it is building or expanding but does not mention classrooms at Central. Also, one has to wonder why Jim Darcy School will cost $18,000,000 while Central School will only cost $8,000,000 dollars.
The vision for this bond is 500 student mega elementary schools with most students being bussed. Elementary students will be moved into the current middle schools and middle school students will be moved into our high schools, requiring two new high schools with additional bonds to accomplish these ends. Those of us who love Helena and our neighborhoods and schools need to defeat this bond and help create a bond Helena really wants and needs, while not taxing people out of their homes.