February 18, 2016
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Invest in Yes for the Bond Issue
*As I am typing this, the bond issue will have been undecided, but when reading this, the decision will already be announced.*
I would say a fair amount of people in this town don’t really know much about the bond issue, they just saw the middle school is going to be torn down in the front and decided to go on a rampage. If they truly knew how bad of a condition it is in, they would probably rethink their opinion. Since it is a historic building with many memories, people feel like they should save that sacred, castle-like building.
Do not get me wrong, the front part of the school does look really cool, but on the inside it is a nightmare. Remember that it was built in the early 1920s, when cars and telephones were still a new thing. Right now, the only part in the front being used is the old entry hall, which is a weight room. The rest of the front building sits empty and blocked off, locked up for safety.
Some people wonder why we don’t just renovate it, and that is a good question. The answer is that renovating it would cost more than the cost of knocking it down and building a new building. Think about the middle school, this was built before air conditioning, modern electrical systems, the internet, and (very important), the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When they built the newest section of the building a few years ago, it was because it had to be done so that the building could have an elevator. Before that, people with disabilities had to be carried up stairs (there are a lot of stairs in the old school). I know this because my grandfather, Robert Wilson, was the principal back in 1994-1997, before the new section was added, and he told me about having to do this.
The school district’s job is to teach us and give us a safe place to learn in. Right now, it is not as safe as parents or staff would prefer, such as being protected when severe weather comes. When the tornado sirens go off in a school day at the middle school, all the children pile off into the old gym. This is a small and dangerous place, mainly because once we are already down there the tornado could have already hit The middle school needs new and improved storm shelters, just like the other schools in the district.
But let’s be honest here: one of the many reasons the majority of people want to ‘save the middle school’ is not because they want to save the middle school. The real reason is that they do not want to pay more taxes. I totally get if you are in a situation where paying more taxes is a problem, but if you think about it, even if you do not have a child attending USD 250 schools, you are still paying for education. Investing in this will be helping the people who are most likely going to be taking care of you.
I know Pittsburg is not the richest town in America, but we are now in a place where we really can not wait anymore.