I am a resident in South Beaverton and have watched my wife's two children progress through Conestoga Middle School and Southridge High School (SRHS) and have the following observations and opinions.
Due to the extravagant architectural design of SRHS, which served no useful purpose and created wasted space in the common areas of the school, construction costs were outrageous. The project manager assigned to the construction of SRHS indicated the cost of the school was increased monumentally by the structural requirements needed to support the architectural design of the facility.
I believe a Westview High School-designed facility would fit on the SRHS property and be much more cost-effective. It would appear the school district administration has failed to provide us with prudent use of public funds on this construction project and I presume, if the bond issue passes, we can expect another failed performance in this regard.
The decision to use natural grass for the football field contributed to the huge unnecessary expenses in the SRHS construction. I understand the football field turf has not been maintained in an acceptable manner and therefore it will be replaced with a synthetic turf. Why did the school district decide to use natural turf if they had no plans to maintain the turf?
I contacted a local synthetic turf distributor who estimated the cost of the synthetic turf to be approximately $450,000, and this did not include removal of the existing sod and prep work for the new. So we are looking at an $800,000 to $1 million bill to redo the football field. Again the school district administration has failed to make prudent use of public funds.
I understand that students are encouraged to register to vote, as soon as they are legally able to do so. I thought this was a good idea, until I was told some were also encouraged by certain SRHS faculty members how to vote. In other words, some students were encouraged not just to vote but to vote for candidates supporting the views of some faculty members.
Now, I have always thought that our children were sent to school to be educated, not indoctrinated. So in the area of educators providing a meaningful unbiased educational experience, if this is true, I believe the faculty has failed to perform in a responsible manner.
I hear of students attending school while on drugs and alcohol. I also heard of a wild party for athletes sponsored by a jock's parents. I was told that when this was reported to school authorities, a concerned student was told not to worry about it and to mind his own business. If true, this response by the faculty totally destroys the positive role model the faculty is expected to exude, and the faculty has failed to perform in a responsible manner.
The latest threat I have heard concerning the alternative if the bond issue fails, is to go to split schedules with part of the student body attending school in the morning and part in the afternoon. It would appear to me that split schedules would be an excellent solution to the problem, allowing for maximum use of the school district's most valuable tangible assets, that being their facilities and equipment. I would support and applaud this alternative.
So, how will I vote on the bond issue in the fall? I will vote no, and I encourage all who reside in the Beaverton School District to do the same. This is an opportunity to tell the school district administration it is time to make due with existing assets. It is time for the school district to act in a fiscally responsible manner.