By Gramps

            We have a local school district which in the past couple of years has floated a bond issue vote that failed due to mismanagement of ideas and perspective, regathered their priorities and built a really nice half-baked football/track facility, brags about raising nearly a million dollars to finish the new football/track facility, while also putting together a new $88.5 million bond issue to fix the very major building issues found throughout the district due to improper management over the past 25-30 years.

            I offer an older person’s individual perspective of all these movements within the district and do so despite knowing that I may, or most likely will agitate many and run the risk of alienating myself from many whom I call friends from my own dealings and working with the district itself. But I am tired of watching from the sidelines and since nobody has actually asked me personally for my opinions – I am going to offer them now!

            First off – the original bond issue that failed at the voting booth by a large margin failed in my opinion due to one major issue, the location of where they wanted to put a new football/track facility.

            I told the district superintendent that located the athletic stuff in the southwest corner of the district’s high school property would cause issues with the flood plain and drainage for the area as well as reduce and cause issues with parking.

            I for one, truly liked and was encouraged by the rest of that bond issue. It truly seemed to me that they were finally putting some thought into the new high school/middle school building in a very logical and futuristic design. The district facility changes in the original bond issue to me was not an issue.

            After the bond issue failed, the district higher ups seemed to suddenly find the money to design and construct a new football/track facility off the northeast corner of the high school property and did so without asking for any money from the voters.

            While this facility is in all honesty very nice, impressive and should highlight our football, soccer and track programs for years to come – I found a couple of things about the construction seemingly odd to have happened.

            One of the main issues with the football/track facility in the bond issue dealt with location and how the noise and lighting from game day activities would bother those on North High Drive or along First Street. So why were these issues not considered for the people on the north side of Hulse Street whose backyards are seemingly within 20 yards or less of the new facility. And what about the retirees that live in the Cedar Complex just to the east of the new facility? When they put lights and a high quality speaker system in, it would seem a major inconvenience to these people during game day activities.

            By the way, I have not even talked about the parking for game day activities either, another story in  itself – especially if some of the current parking is removed for the new high school building idea.

            Now the district is pushing and supporting private sector fund raising campaign to gain the additional million dollars needed to add lights, scoreboard and seating to the facility. Amazingly they have already raised nearly $800,000 toward their goal.

            Do people understand that to add the lighting and scoreboard, the district will need to change some zoning rules – or that is what I have heard and read along the way. If so, will the people on Hulse Street  and in the Cedars Retirement complex get any say in the idea?

            I have lived in the area for well over 40 years now and I am a huge fan of the Bullpup athletic program and people like Carol Swenson and Shane Backhus running it, but if I owned a home along Hulse Street and had my backyard suddenly within 20 yards or less of such a complex without having any recourse about it – sorry, but I would be highly unhappy.

            The other thing that seems to rub me wrong about the private fund raising is that I would bet the some of the folks cheering it on are likely some of the same folks who seemingly do not want to put out the $88.5 million dollars toward fixing up the district buildings.

            It seems that some are choosing athletics over education, and in my opinion, that just is not right.

            The greater area of the community has had several other areas in which would be more than big enough to build a new football/track facility on, that could include lighting, seating and all without disrupting a large neighborhood of residents.

            The new $88.5 million dollar bond issue is supposedly set for a vote on May 9, yet I have not really seen any information on it. Unlike the previous failed bond issue when architect drawings and visual enhancements were available for all to see how the new high/middle school would look – I for one have not seen anything as such for the newest bond issue proposal.

            Don’t get me wrong, I really like the majority of those running the district at this time, but I am not happy by the seemingly lack of full disclosure available on any of the current projects.

            This is why at this point, despite knowing how seriously we need a new high school facility, an upgraded or new middle school facility as well as upgrades to all the elementary schools – unless I get to see the designs and visual views of such projects, not sure that I will vote yes this time….something which I did not do the previous time either but for more obvious reasons.

            Like or dislike my opinions, it is up to you – I just want to bring forth some quality concerns for which I see with what is happening, concerns for which I have heard rumblings from others in the community as well.

            Until next time, may today bring many hopes to all your tomorrows…….Gramps.

(Grumpy Gramps is Copyright@2023 by CrossDove Writers – no content shall be used without written consent of CrossDove Writers)