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.
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.