Support elementary school renovation

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2009

Please remember to vote in Juneau's municipal elections on Oct. 6.

It may not be as exciting as the presidential election last year, but for the teachers and students at Gastineau Elementary School, it will have a huge impact. On the ballot this year is a bond issue supporting the renovation of Gastineau, which was built more than 50 years ago and is in desperate need of rehabilitation. The carpets and lighting have not been replaced in a half-century, nor has the boiler, which could go out at any moment. Many staff members are located in closets with no ventilation or windows because there is no other space for them. The building doesn't meet current building codes and there is no access through either of the front doors for people in wheelchairs.

To pay for this project, the state will reimburse the city for 70 percent of the costs; the remainder would be paid through a small increase in local property taxes. For example, the owner of a $350,000 home will pay an extra $42 per year in property taxes. Because each year a project is completed, you may not actually see a change in your property tax.

I encourage you to vote for this school bond issue even if you do not have children attending Gastineau. I was pleased to vote for the renovation of other elementary schools and have seen what a positive difference it makes. Harborview not only looks beautiful but my friends there have told me the improved light, space and flow have made it a better learning environment, and a building our community can be proud of.

Gastineau is one of only two elementary schools that has yet to be renovated, and it badly needs attention. Thank you in advance for your support.

Debbie Lowenthal

Gastineau Elementary School parent


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