Letters to the Editor

High school bond: Housing teens costs too much

Regarding the Jan. 29 News-Times article, “High school bond structure explained”: I understand that the local public education establishment would like North Whidbey taxpayers to ante up “only” $45 million for the new/remodeled high school, performing arts center and also new playground so our high school athletes will no longer be humiliated by playing in “the pit.”

The actual cost, however, including interest over the proposed 16 year life of the bond is closer to $70 million dollars. I’m surprised they didn’t ask the 4.0 students to proofread the fine print and catch this little $25 million oversight.

Now, for untruth number two. The reason the high school is overcrowded is not due solely to student population growth, which our district leads the reader to believe. This overcrowding is caused because the district decided some years back to add the freshman class to what was historically only sophomores, juniors and seniors in Oak Harbor High. All class sizes being equal, remove the freshman class and bingo, there’s 450 less students. This move would allow 250 SPS’s (student personalized spaces, or lockers to be vacated for horticultural activities, sex-ed stops, weapons disposal, homeless shelters and the like.

Lastly, if what Dr. Schulte has said about “any public school” having a maximum useful life of 30 years is true, it appears that we, the taxpayers, are being asked to spend roughly $2.5 million dollars a year to house 1,800 hormonally crazed teens for each nine month school year. I’m beginning to warm up to the idea. In 2033 with inflation and all, it’ll only cost twice as much as we’re being asked to pay now. By then my useful life will have been used up working to help pay for this facility and Dr. Schulte’s six-figure retirement package.

I can’t understand why Oak Harbor levies are prone to fail.

Mike Quinn

Oak Harbor

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