School bond does not reflect real world costs


February 6, 2020

To The Eagle:

First let me say that I am in favor of providing the best education possible in the best facility possible in our community. I think school facility maintenance and repair is an ongoing responsibility of school administration, not a once in a generation undertaking.

My issue with what has been proposed for our school is the overall cost. I once served on a school board in a small Washington community and we needed to build a new school for K through 12 grades. That school was 33,000 square feet, the year was 1990 and the cost to build a new school and buy the land was $6.5 million dollars. The dollar has roughly doubled with inflation since then so that same school would cost about $13 million today. Chuck Henderson, chair of the Naselle School Board says they are building a new 33,000 sq ft school for $15.5 million this year so why does it cost $35 million for Cathlamet to just repair our facility?

Our school board should go back to the drawing board and find bids that reflect real world costs, not $1,000 per sq ft! Repairs can sometimes cost more than just building a new school but not the kind of money that they want us to spend for just 173 students. Do the math and you just might convince yourself that it's just plain too much. The intent and purpose are right but please don’t expect the voters to vote for something that does not reflect real world costs.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric Skemp

Puget Island


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