Stop the new high school

Letters to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's painfully obvious that the Juneau School Board and the city Assembly have withheld the true cost of the new high school from the public. The whole project seems to have been mishandled from the very start. The School Board doesn't even know how it would operate the new building, which was demonstrated by the pamphlet of proposals that was mailed to households last month. They still don't know how to fund additional teachers and staff; that bombshell will be dropped on us at a later date and will cost us all more money.

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The city wants to hold a special election to fleece the residents for an additional $21.6 million, of which around $10 million would have to come directly out of our pockets. The city dismisses these costs as pocket change and is proud of the fact the state would have to cover the rest of the money.

The last time I checked, we are all part of Alaska and have a duty not to spend the state's money on something we really don't need. How do you suppose the rest of the state looks at the waste coming out of Juneau? Do you see how they might perceive Juneau as greedy and self-serving? Anchorage has roughly one high school for every 56,000 residents, this building would give us one for every 16,000.

So yes, let's hold a special election, but let's also ask the voters if they would like to stop this new high school and cut our losses. Let's sell the ground where the contractor spent a year tearing down trees and smoothing the dirt, and let's spend the funds on Juneau-Douglas High School. We could maybe tear down the Marie Drake building and put up a new building in its place, if extra classroom space is really critical. Nevertheless, I understand student enrollment is projected to decline in future years.

Members of the School Board are acting like drunken sailors, from "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" to millions and millions for an unneeded and ill-conceived new high school. Let's all remember these people when they come up for election. Vote "No"; they are wasting our money!

Mark Vester


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