Letter to the Editor: Many questions

Aug 20 Written by  Patsy Adams

I have always been a strong supporter of District 55 schools – as a student, as a parent, as a teacher, as a community member.  But I am very opposed to the bond referendum we are being asked to support on September 5.

The plan being voted on has been in constant flux.  There actually is no set plan.  First we were told the 109 million would be used to build a new high school and to relocate all district middle schools into the present high school.  Now there seems to be uncertainty as to what will happen with the middle schools.  And also, we’re now told that any money that remains of the 109 million after the new high school is completed will be used for improvements at other schools.  Which other schools?  What improvements?

The land for the new high school – At this time, there is no identified land, therefore no price for the land.  Would that not affect building plans?  And there are no specific building plans.   The Kids First-Laurens Future organization that is organizing and funding the extensive “vote yes” campaign presented  “plans” at a public meeting at the Ridge on August 1.   That night, a representative of the architectural group already chosen by our school board showed preliminary design plans of our new high school.  But those were actually pictures taken in other schools, not specific plans for our school.   On September 5, we will be voting on a ghost plan to be situated somewhere.   Which makes me wonder how the board came up with the projected cost?

SfL+a Architects is the firm already chosen by our school board.  There are serious questions about this group and their present construction of new schools in Myrtle Beach/Horry County.  Construction delays, budget overruns, non-cooperation with the school board, refusal to talk to reporters …  One news account said that the firm was hiring a PR group to represent them locally, and the school board was hiring an outside law firm.  Does this sound good?

The Vote Yes crowd is complaining that the Vote No crowd does not care about the future of our children.  That is not true!  We care deeply, but we want to know what we’re voting on!!

Did our school board even consider rebuilding our present high school right where it is?  Spring Valley High School did just that.  Spring Valley was also a “pod” school, completed in 1970.  In 2008, Richland County School District 2 rebuilt Spring Valley on the same property, keeping classes going while the new building was being constructed around the pods.  Has anyone in our district looked into that?  We have excellent athletic facilities there.  Why abandon it all?

So much uncertainty, so many questions, such an excessive campaign to get out a “yes” vote. 

I will have to vote No.

Not this plan.

Patsy Adams, Laurens  SC

Last modified on Sunday, 20 August 2017 22:11