School district pulls an ‘end around’ on facility
The S.M.C.I.S.D. board of trustees met on Jan. 22 and on the agenda was a bond proposal for a new administration building. The proposal was tabled so that the trustees could further explore their options. This is the same new building which has been twice rejected by the voters of this district. Why do we need a new building? Trustees voted to tear the old one down at the cost of over $194,000. Why did they tear it down? Supposedly, tests revealed high levels of mold in the building. Mold is endemic to this region. Normal people combat it with thorough cleaning, fresh air, moisture control, and sunlight. The windows in the administration building were rarely opened which prevented fresh air circulation. Most of the time, direct sunlight was blocked by blinds.
Because we no longer have a building, we are currently paying $12,000 a month to house the administration. It is a fact that at least one trustee openly called for a new administration building long before any mold studies were done. One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder what the real agenda is. In my opinion, since the voters would not approve this building, an “end run” was found around their objections. I would say that voters should demand a bond election. The problem is that if we reject a new building, we will be stuck with paying to house the administration. Who are the winners and who are the losers in this shameful affair. The losers are clearly the children and taxpayers of the district. The winners are those trustees and their allies, the builders and bankers, who wanted the new administration building. We have spent millions of dollars and gone into debt to upgrade our school system and yet, students grades on standardized state mandated tests are no better than when we started. We need people to pay more attention to our schools and pay fewer dollars on those things which don’t improve education.
Dan F. Lyon
Editor’s note: Though an agenda item calling for an $8 million bond election for a new central office building was on the SMCISD board agenda last week, the board postponed the item until after further discussions of a $4.5 million option for a new central office building.