School opponents speculate

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2004

I've noted the recent progress which has been made by the high school focus team, and am encouraged that they've narrowed down the possible courses of action to two: renovation of Marie Drake, or construction of a smaller valley high school.

As comment on that effort I'd like to add that both courses of action would appear to address the issue of overcrowding at Juneau-Douglas High School. However, the Marie Drake renovation comes up short on many other issues, including:

• Proximity of a high school to the many families who live and work in the valley or beyond;

• The congested traffic and parking situations at JDHS;

• The lengthy bus rides for valley students;

• Additional student opportunities for extracurricular activities, and;

• The statistically documented benefits of a smaller learning environment.

These are clear factual issues which cannot be disputed. The pundits, however, will argue against a second school by pointing out many speculative concerns such as splitting the town, dilution of fund-raising efforts, reduction in sports team dominance and so forth. But those issues are exactly that, speculation. Just someone's opinion - and nothing more at this time.

Therefore I believe that in the forthcoming weeks and months it will be critically important to keep the facts separated from the speculation so as not to allow the entire concept of a Valley high school to become clouded with ambiguity and uncertainty.

I would like to take this opportunity then to say that our family will continue to support a second high school in the Valley.

Patrick Cuddihy

Auke Bay

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