School bond issue: Do it right 1st time
January 30, 2020
I think it's an admirable goal: If you're going to do something, do it right the first time.
My coaches, Paul Spears and Terry Bonny drilled that into me during the seasons I was a Wahkiakum Mule football player, 1965-68, and I've honored it through the years since I graduated.
Of course, expediency has its place--one step at a time when your ready and the time is right . . . but sometimes what you're trying to accomplish never gets quite completed in this way of working.
Voters in the Wahkiakum School District now have a choice--expediency or doing it right the first time. The district board of directors is seeking approval of a build bond levy to renovate district buildings, especially the high school, built in 1962.
The district's last bond issue helped construct Thomas Middle School and some improvements in the elementary school in the 1990's. The contractor who submitted the low bid discovered a mistake in his bid and asked to withdraw it, but the district felt it was expedient to accept the bid and force the contractor to follow through at the bid amount. The result was some poor workmanship, leaking skylights in the middle school gym, major plumbing problems and, well, you get the picture.
The new bond would finance significant improvements at the high school ranging from improving an inadequate electrical system to creating functional science labs that meet current safety codes (See an article in the Jan. 16 edition of The Eagle for a detailed description of building needs; the article is also available online at https://www.waheagle.com/story/2020/01/16/news/school-district-seeks-bond-for-building-needs/17196.html).
Over the years, the district has struggled to keep up with building and maintenance needs. Need another classroom? Add a prefabricated portable. New roof one year, lighting a few years later. Start over with something else.
Will taxpayers notice the bond assessment? Yes, at an estimated $3.37 per $1,000 of assessed property value, that's about $56.17 per month for property valued at $200,000.
But I think of the investment: The education of our youth is vital to the success of our county, state and nation. I think of it as a civic responsibility. The generation that came before me provided my educational opportunities, and it's my duty to provide good education opportunities for those who come after me.
It's time to do it right the first time.