I may be wrong, but $190 million is too much to spend at one time. My experience in 34 years of teaching in four school districts and one private school is that big sums of money means big waste.
I already feel like I witnessed carelessly used funds when I attended the bond explanation meeting at Stansbury High School. There were beautiful architectural drawings, a clever power point, an articulate public relations woman, glossy and colorful information sheets, but no real dialogue about other alternatives. What did all the above cost? What does a full-size billboard on Highway 36 cost?
What is the rush to build three new schools? Can’t we bus elementary school children or employ a year round school for a crowded elementary? Can the elementary schools in Tooele help out? What’s the enrollment at Copper Canyon and Middle Canyon? West had a declining enrollment and Sterling and East were combined because of a shrinking enrollment.
Building a new high school with its practice gyms, stadium, auditorium, soccer fields, tennis courts and parking less than four miles from an existing high school seems to me ridiculous! What can be done to expand our present high schools is the question that we should be solving, not spending $100 million for a building. This money isn’t for teachers or administers. It is for a building and grounds.
Last of all money. In a recent editorial it stated, “Ballot language says the property tax impact on a home valued at $250,000 would be $346.” On the Understanding The Ballot explanation sheet printed by the Tooele School District it says: “The $346 will not continue for 20 years as it may seem by the ballot language but instead is projected to decrease each year as bonds are repaid and as the total taxable value within Tooele County increases.”
This says to me that property owners will be paying for these bonds for 20 years. I think that within 20 years we will have more growth and need more schools for our students, and I think that again we will be asked to fund another bond. Before we do any more building, let’s do more thinking and figure out how to best utilize the buildings that we have.
Rebecca Willis Boren