MVTHS on the move? I hope not (Part one)

Ladies and gentlemen, I do believe that MVTHS needs to be rebuilt or heavily renovated. I do NOT believe that the current proposal being pushed by so few with many special interests is the way to go.

With that statement made, I will now begin tearing apart the “FAQs” posted at MVTHSonthemove.org.

Q How will the students from District #201 benefit from a new school?

A * The campus will be “closed,” with a comfortable, modern dining area. This will reduce truancy, tardiness, traffic accidents, and substance abuse that can occur when students leave campus for lunch.
* The building will offer well-organized, handicap acccessible, state-of-the-art classrooms and commons area. A welcoming environment is planned to maximize instruction and technology in all areas of the curriculum.
* Students and staff will be able to work in a building with better lighting, cleaner air quality, and enhanced learning environment.
* Students won’t have to go outside in all kinds of weather to change classes.

How can a closed campus prevent truancy? Truancy is not coming to school. If the campus is closed, how will it stop students from staying home? Tardiness is arriving late for class. If you’re late, you’re late whether campus is closed or not.

A closed campus may reduce traffic during the school’s lunch hour, but the current traffic setup at the intersection, new hospital construction, new interstate exchange, and lack of a plan to improve traffic flow will almost certainly maintain current traffic issues.

Do you really think kids will not find new and creative ways to smoke or whatever else they want to do? When I was at MVTHS, it was possible to walk across campus with a lit cigarette. Are these kids not capable of finding exhaust fans, windows, etc.? I think your kids are smarter than you are, or maybe you’re just spinning to get a new MVTHS.

First off, it is “accessible”, not “acccessible”. Further, the current school is handicap accessible. If it weren’t, the school would not be in compliance with the ADA. Man, I’m getting dizzy from all the spin on that one.

Shouldn’t school already be a “welcoming environment” that seeks to “maximize instruction and technology in all areas of the curriculum”? Instruction is carried out by the teachers, not by buildings.

I am willing to concede that there may be better lighting in the new school. I doubt there will be cleaner air quality, at least for a year or two. How many chemicals will still be curing? How much dust will be floating around? How many last-minute projects will be getting finished? How will the learning environment be enhanced?

The students won’t be out in the weather changing classes. Well, you can’t really dispute that.

Q Why not just fix the old school?
A It’s falling apart. Decades of daily student use have taken their toll.

* The State rarely funds renovation. It has a lower priority than new construction.
* The City will NOT fund renovation.
* The cost of renovation could be the sole burden of taxpayers in District #201.
* Students would be relocated to several temporary classrooms during years of necessary repairs at the cost of $50,000 for each room.

“Falling apart” or “Not pretty like we want it to be”?

So, we jumped to new construction because the state rarely funds it? I generally hear people promoting this gaffe as the state “has not” funded renovation. Which way is it?

No, the city will NOT fund renovation. The city should NOT be funding new construction. The voters of Mount Vernon did not approve $24 MILLION to be given to another taxing body. Unfortunately city council members stated that the residents would be “confused” if asked on the ballot whether or not they wish to commit $24 MILLION over THIRTY YEARS.

The cost of renovation SHOULD be the sole burden of taxpayers in District #201. District 201 is the taxing body responsible for maintenance of the school and charged with its care. They should be the ones paying for maintenance and construction, not the citizens of Mount Vernon times 2.

Could someone please itemize the $50,000 claim for the cost of using other rooms? I find it hard to believe that all of the rooms that were not used in 1992-96 are somehow being utilized and are all busy.

For those of you interested, Part two is done.

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