Letters to the Editor

High school bond: Modernize OHHS to compete well

The greatest challenges for Oak Harbor High School students should be academics and athletics, not overcrowding and obsolescence. Competition should prepare them for the future, not discourage them from attending school. Vote yes on May 16 to modernize OHHS.

OHHS has outlived its intended lifespan and outgrown its capacity, which means students face challenges that demoralize rather than inspire. Students compete more for desks and books than for achievements. They muscle through overcrowded hallways and most don’t have time to go to lockers or use the restroom – assuming the toilets are working. On rainy days they wade through water on outside walkways and suffer chills in the colder rooms. But that’s better than the stuffy rooms with bad ventilation that lulls them to sleep.

Those who sit behind the front rows can’t see because images can’t be raised higher on the wall. Students can’t hear over the rumble of equipment being rolled down an aggregate hallway. Working with outmoded labs and equipment, some think “Why bother?” or decide just to “do the time” until they can leave. Performance logistics are more challenging than performing. Long lines make just getting lunch a challenge.

Overcrowding and obsolescence aren’t just nuisances; they are demoralizing conditions. We don’t have to provide “deluxe,” but we can afford to provide enough, and we cannot afford not to do so! We can widen hallways to make passages easier and quicker and drier and safer, raise ceilings, and fix the heating, air, plumbing and Parker Hall problems. We can modernize our classrooms, labs and equipment so that today’s students will be ready for tomorrow’s jobs.

Send a message that we want to help students achieve our educational goals for them so they enter tomorrow’s marketplace motivated, well-prepared and competitive. Let us take on the challenges of overcrowding and obsolescence so students are free to be challenged in better ways: vote yes for OHHS modernization.

Merrilee Donnell Wong

Oak Harbor

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