Letters to the editor - Thursday (7-4-2013)
Plan for school office building raises several concerns
I am distressed by the ministrations over an exotic and expensive school administration building that seems to masquerade as a mini-convention center or city center attraction first and an administration building secondly.
My objections are:
n The public needs an accounting of properties already owned by the school system before any further appropriations for such. When I was on the school board, we had at least three defunct schools, storage buildings and some vacant properties which were in disrepair. These need to be tallied and sold, with the revenue paying for the proposed debt on a new structure.
n Figures show a loss of about 4,000 students in recent years. This means we are shrinking, not expanding, our student pool, and justifying more administrative space is a hard sell.
n As one increasingly limited in my mobility, I think the proposed building would be harder to negotiate than a one-floor design, say in the likely available Salisbury Mall space.
n $6 million for a new building neglects a statement on the need for a new parking facility, which is likely equally expensive.
n Monies allocated for a new building could better be used to further address student needs and teacher supports.
Lastly, regarding comments pitting the Board of Education vs. county commissioners, we all are losing in the rancor of the debate that displaces not only the best interest of students but that of the taxpaying community base as well.
I sense a swelling concern that the board needs taxing authority to get what it wants. This would be unfortunate. When I lived in Chicago, partly as a result of such actions, my monthly taxes for city and county services was $750, which was a factor in my decision to come home to North Carolina.
If folks sit still long enough, who knows? Space in the Salisbury Customer Service Center might become available. This proposed school administration building request seems to represent another poorly planned and thought-out venture.
— Dr. Ada M. Fisher
Dr. Ada Fisher formerly served on the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education.