Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2007

BESPC needs help

September 6, 2007

We've known it for some time, but the latest information from the consultants hired to assess the Baldwin School District facilities point to the same old problem. Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center isn't sufficient.

It's been documented before how the oldest building for students in the district's fleet has problems. Lots of problems. Maintenance and repairs to the building are an ongoing battle. It's become a money pit. In fact, it's been a money pit for some time.

The latest numbers now show that the students are crowded in the facility. That's not good any time, but maybe even more so in the critical early stages of education. That's when most students develop their view of what school is like ... and how they like it.

We think everyone knows this is the case. Can there be any more argument? We don't think so.

But, the same cannot be said of what to do about it.

Build a new school elsewhere? Maybe, but the current site is such a prime location. Rebuild there? Maybe, but what would be done with the students during the construction time? Gut the building and redo it? Maybe, but the same thing holds true with what to do with the students during construction.

No, there are no easy answers. But, it's something we have to face and we have to face it now. We've put it off long enough, continuing to pour good money after bad.

The school board and facilities' committee are taking a good hard look at what needs to be done in the district. That's much needed and we applaud the effort.

We also can't help but believe in the end there's going to be a steep price tag for a bond issue to fund upgrades. It's long overdue. If we continue to wait, it will only get more expensive.

The need is there. We can't go on ignoring it, hoping it will go away.

It's an investment in Baldwin City's future. It needs to be done. The sooner, the better, we believe.

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