Build a new, not another school

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The votes were counted; the answer was no. Now some seem to think that the school was put on hold because it was too big. Wrong. Just the opposite - it wasn't big enough. We don't need another high school; we need a new high school. Build one big enough for all the kids and then convert Juneau-Douglas High School to something else. My choice would be a civic center - it already has an auditorium and gymnasium, as well as a beautiful new commons. We could also incorporate the downtown transit center - there would be plenty of bus parking.

As a school, however, JDHS is not suited for modern education. The facilities are well behind the times. In light of this, people who claim that two schools (one old and one new) would offer equal educational opportunities are either very naive or completely deceitful. A new building would be properly configured for current and emerging technologies; JDHS is not. The kids in the old building will not have access to the same educational facilities as those in the new school.

In addition, we would be stuck splitting the community resources between the two (teachers, elective courses, sports programs, advanced placement courses, etc.). With one new school we could enhance the educational experience of all our students. Class size is what we need to reduce, not the size of the school. So instead of splitting our resources, why don't we build a school that fits our needs and then employ sufficient teachers to maintain a proper student ratio in the classroom.

Patrick McGonegal


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