Letters to the Editor

School bond: Bond benefits worth the cost

On March 11 you will have the chance to vote on a school bond critical to the future of our children. Oak Harbor High School has served our community very well for nearly 30 years. With badly needed improvements our high school can continue to serve the needs of our kids for many more years. Without the improvements paid for by this bond our students will continue attending a school that doesn’t meet current codes for fire, earthquake protection or air quality.

When built in 1974 Oak Harbor High School was designed for 1,200 students. Even after an expansion in 1991 it remains far too small for the 1,800 students who now attend. That’s why a dozen teachers don’t even have a classroom. That’s why some students go to their science lab only to find they must work without a desk. Do we honestly expect our children to receive a quality education in such an environment?

In 1974, when Oak Harbor High School was built, no one predicted how much today’s basic education would demand a solid understanding of computers and internet communication. It’s understandable that needed electrical systems, fiber optics, and other infrastructure weren’t installed then. If we expect Oak Harbor students to be prepared to compete in today’s world those systems must be provided. The March 11 bond will do so. It will also provide much needed modernizing of the existing heating and ventilation system. Continuing to pay the costs of an outmoded heating system of a dozen individual units when a modern central system is readily available doesn’t make sense.

Whether you played a varsity sport, joined an intramural team, played in a band, acted in or helped produce a school play, attended your school dances, or simply enjoyed rooting for your home team or attending a concert, how many can honestly say that the lessons taught in athletics and arts aren’t a valued component of their education? Of course they are. When Oak Harbor High School’s classroom and systems infrastructure are sadly inadequate and in need of modernizing, our athletic facilities are simply a disgrace. Whether they are a part of a varsity or intramural team, attending a physical education class, or performing in the band our students deserve safe, decent facilities. This bond will provide not only safe and decent facilities for our students, it will provide facilities the entire community can use and enjoy.

I believe the benefits of the March 11 school bond are well worth the cost. I hope you’ll join me in voting yes.

Barry Sehlin, state representative

Oak Harbor

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