Schools need Proposition C

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2002

I am writing in support of Proposition C. Proposition C would help fund needed educational facilities expenses. Money for these projects will not come just from Proposition C, but also from other sources, including the local school districts, but these important projects cannot be completed without this support.

In my town, Gustavus, Proposition C will help fund repairs to the gym. If such repairs are not made, I can foresee closure of the gym. Currently, the electrical service panel is in the gym near the entry area, and the door to the panel does not even close. Any small child could reach up and start flipping switches. There are tufts of fiberglass insulation hanging down from the ceiling and the roof leaks. Due to the leaky roof, there are usually puddles of water on the floor, which is hazardous to any activity. The lights are energy inefficient, so are frequently kept turned off during activities because the school district can't afford to pay the electricity to keep them turned on. At 51 cents a kilowatt hour, Gustavus has the highest electric rates not just in Alaska, but in the United States. The facility is not ADA compliant. The facility has no sprinkler system and no fire alarms. The heating system is not separated from the gym by any wall, let alone a firebreak.

Having lived in urban and rural Alaska, I can tell you that there is a big difference in facilities between urban and rural areas. I won't even go into the facilities deficiencies of the school itself, as those are not addressed in Proposition C. Rural areas simply haven't got the resources to support necessary facilities. This is due in part to the economics of size: the population is simply to small to support the necessary infrastructure, and in part to the higher unemployment rates and lower income levels of rural residents as compared with their urban counterparts.

Once again, I urge you to vote Yes on Proposition C. Proposition C will fund projects in both urban and rural areas of the state, and the students in this state need your support!

Shana Crondahl


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