Your Opinion: Answers to school questions

Dear Editor:

I’m writing at the request of C.J. Weaver. I regret that Weaver thought that we had limited access to meetings — that has never happened. Weaver may have thought the request for an RSVP was limiting access, but no one has ever been turned away. The School Board members and administrators have hosted and participated in several town halls, public forums, church, civic and other group meetings to ensure the public had access to accurate information.

Briefly regarding his other questions:

• The new facilities needed to accommodate pressing space concerns will be constructed to allow maximum flexibility to provide our students with an excellent education. We can adapt to high demands for specific course offerings under this proposed plan.

• The new school will be equipped with cafeteria space that will efficiently and fully meet the needs of our students. The field house will contain needed gym space and will be constructed in accordance with Title IX requirements.

• The new high school will have access from Mission Drive as well as other ingress/egress. The developers of the high school’s new neighbors, St. Mary’s Health Center, have done an outstanding job working with MoDOT, the city and others planning Mission Drive and other roadways that will serve that area.

• An independent cost-analysis has already been produced by the Missouri School Boards’ Association showing that the educator costs for the new proposal are the same as what we are paying today. The costs for two high schools is significantly higher and would require asking the voters to pay nearly twice as much.

• The proposal, if passed, will also be used to construct a new East Elementary school. East is our only elementary school currently housing trailer classrooms.

• The School Board has put forward what it believes is the best plan. If both questions don’t pass they will determine at that time how to move forward but they will not circumvent the voters and build a new high school without voter approval which is an inaccurate rumor circulating.

With interest rates at all-time lows, waiting to address pressing concerns may cost district residents more money in the future. Our plan is to have these facilities constructed by local contractors which will create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity. Additionally, bringing Linn State to town significantly enhances our higher education opportunities.

I hope anyone with questions will contact me at 659-3018.

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