Archive for Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bond issue looms; hard decisions, too

Our View Editorial

January 31, 2008

We welcomed the sense of urgency expressed at the latest Baldwin School District facilities' committee meeting. The quicker a bond issue for needed improvements in the district is done, the better.

As we all know, time is money. Everything is more expensive and that will only continue. We need to get work underway as quickly as possible to add a new school and we continue to think that needs to be a new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center.

We also agree that renovations and improvements at Baldwin Junior High School are necessary. That would be money well spent on a building that was the district flag ship for years and continues to be one of the best investments district voters have ever made.

Renovating the auditorium at BJHS makes the best sense, too. It is inadequate for the district's needs and this would be a good time to fix that. We think that's important.

That said, we hope that everyone will listen to what the architects hired to guide the bond issue process are saying about a new auditorium.

"There aren't many high schools that have an auditorium that can fit their entire parent groups, even at Blue Valley or Olathe," said John Fuller, one of the architects. "It's just rare to see that anymore."

We agree completely. We aren't Blue Valley or Olathe, not even close. We don't want to be, either.

There has been much discussion about how a new auditorium had been promised after the new high school was built in 1993. Who made that promise? Was it the school board at the time? If so, none of those school board members are serving any more.

We'll reserve final opinion until we see the numbers the architects bring to the next meeting. But, right now we think renovating the current auditorium is a better option given the tough economic times we're in. It may be the only way the bond issue passes to address needs in the district that must be fixed.


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