Recall effort neglects kids
Where are the kids in the recall effort’s message against the Roaring Fork School Board? Where are the qualities of educational facilities and their ability to meet the needs of our community’s children for the next 50 years? How about the best use of tax dollars?
We, as a board, have worked for many years and taken into account the opinions of hundreds of community members, construction and educational experts, staff and students to address the question of how to best move forward with the development of a new GSHS. This has been an exhaustive effort to find solutions to difficult issues surrounding the building of a new high school to meet the needs of the 21st century.
The members of this board are elected to be vigilant stewards of public education for our community.
In my years of service to this community, I have witnessed huge undertakings involving as many community voices as would come to engage with us. I have personally spent hour upon hour at decision-making meetings with hundreds of community members, staff members and students. I have also waited with staff at community meetings on evenings where no one came to participate. What this board hasn’t done is to bow to special-interest groups that demand that their voice be the only one we hear.
We have heard the concerns regarding the relocation or potential closure of the businesses housed in the rental properties that the community committee has recommended be purchased. We heard these concerns; they were one part of the sea of voices and expert opinions and information that we took into consideration before bringing these projects to a vote of the people. We learned that purchasing this additional space was the only real option to keep an educationally viable high school in downtown Glenwood Springs.
Jennifer Vanian and those responsible for the recall are giving you misleading information. They are under no obligation to prove their statements or “solutions,” or to make any of them work for our community. Their focus is clearly not a viable learning environment for our current or future high school students.
Their “solution” is to squeeze a $27 million dollar high school onto an inadequately small site. The new GSHS building will house 800 to 1,000 students a year for potentially the next 50 years. This group would have us build on this inadequate site because two businesses in rental buildings choose not to relocate. If we were to move forward with the suggested “solution” that the recall group has put forward, we would be wasting community tax money on a project that brings more long-term problems than solutions, and will not meet the changing educational needs of this community.
If you would like the facts regarding processes and plans, or would like general information about the new Glenwood Springs High School, please contact us at http://www.savegshs.org or by calling 384-6000. By all means, hold us accountable. Please also hold our opponents to the same high standard. How do they respond to questions regarding the needs of students, the quality of facilities for the long term, and the wise use of tax dollars?
Susan Hakanson is Re-1 school board president.
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.