As a member of the Long-Term Facilities Planning Task Force, I must take exception with many of the comments made in Mr. Hall’s recent letter to the editor.
The 63-member Task Force was convened to create solutions how to accommodate the increased student population within the Lake Washington School District. As with many Task Force groups, compromises were necessary and not all the ideas and solutions could be recommended due to either budget, feasibility or time constraints. However, many ideas were implemented to create cost-effective solutions for increasing capacity across the district.
I agree with Mr. Hall’s point that more classroom space is needed. Fortunately, the Bond increases permanent capacity by over 3,000 students! Furthermore, the Bond addresses capacity issues throughout the School District in a way that makes best use of our tax dollars.
An example is the proposed rebuild of Juanita High School. Not only does the rebuild bring this school up to current educational specs, but it increases the permanent capacity by additional 500 students. This solution was arrived after meetings the Task Force, public open houses, expert meetings and a design charrette with top architects and general contractors. This solution saves millions of dollars compared to building a new high school. The rebuild of Juanita High School also preserves both the Field House and the existing Pool.
I strongly endorse the April 26th Bond as a cost-effective solution that reduces overcrowding without raising our tax rate. Please join me in voting YES to address our schools’ most urgent needs.
Eric Campbell, Lake Washington School District Task Force member