Letters to the Editor

School bond: Bond could produce injuries

I voted no on the last high school renovation proposal and will vote no again.

My rationale is as follows: First, why are we building an athletic facility, which will utilize expensive artificial turf? Numerous articles have been written over the years, in various sports and physical education publications, attesting to the fact that this type of surface has resulted in severe physical injuries even to professional athletes. What will it do to students who utilize this surface during their formative years of bone and joint development? Have supporters of this issue given any thought to the increased liability for the school district should injuries occur to students? It won’t take long for the first parents to sue when their child suffers a disabling injury because the school board failed to exercise prudent caution against identifiable potential student injury.

Finally on this issue, has anyone factored in the additional costs for the special shoes required while playing on artificial turf for student physical education programs and athletic competition? Who foots the bill for these special shoes — no pun intended.

My second thought is why are we building such large parking areas. Do we want to encourage students to drive to school? I believe the school district receives monies based on random tallies of school bus ridership — less riders, less monies. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Regarding the performing arts center, why? Is this addition driven by student needs or by special interest groups, i.e., Whidbey Arts Foundation? What study? As was stated in the May 10 article, it was conducted by Jones and Phillips Theatrical Design Consultants. Has this study ever been published or made available to the voting public? Who funded this study?

I have no problem in voting to providing a safe and adequate educational school facility. My concerns revolve around what appears to be a failure to factor in “common sense” for developing a reasonable bond proposal that would stand a chance of passing. By the way, the $12 million dollars in state grant money? The Legislature still can’t agree on a budget.

I take exception to the May 10 “Soundoff” stating, “voting yes —— is a fiscally sound promise for the future of Oak Harbor.” A state law requiring 60 percent approval is the best vote to come out of the state Legislature in years. It is now time for the Legislature to limit the number of times, in one calendar year; a bond issue can be placed on the ballot.

Richard Mallchok

Oak Harbor

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