When my wife was asked if she would be part of the facilities review committee she offered me up instead. I’ll admit, I protested, but she insisted that I was what the committee needed. As a contractor, I’m able to knowledgeably review the physical state of the facilities. As an outspoken skeptic about taxes, I would challenge the need to spend money unnecessarily.
We should all be voting yes for the students and faculty of the Lake Pend Oreille School District on Aug. 30. If you are voting no for the levy then you must not have had the opportunity to visit any of the schools that are up for replacement in quite a few years. I have had such an opportunity to tour the schools with members of the district’s facilities department and got to see firsthand the condition our schools are in, and let me say, they are in sad shape.
Most of these schools that are up for replacement were built in the ’50s and have functioned long past their expected life span. Only to the outstanding job of the district’s facilities department have we gotten our money’s worth out of these buildings. They have been doing a great job in keeping these rundown buildings together and operational for years, but we can only put bandages on things for so long. The ventilation systems are so bad that they do not supply adequate amounts of fresh air to the classrooms. The heating systems are so old that the facilities staff are replacing pipes regularly and saving parts from broken boilers as they do not even make parts for equipment that old.
We looked at the option of remodeling, but it would not make sense economically. We would be dumping millions of dollars into buildings that would continue to not function as a school should. Sooner than later they would need to be replaced, and the overall cost would be greater than replacing them now.
These buildings are flat-out worn out. We must offer the students and faculty a healthy environment in which to learn and work.
We have gotten by the last few decades ignoring the fact that our schools are deteriorating. If you had to go to these buildings everyday like our children and faculty do, then something most likely would have been done earlier. The fact is that we have benefited from the low property taxes that we do have here for many, many years, and it is time that we give a little back for the next few years for our students and community. Please vote yes on this upcoming levy. Thank you.