Re-1 needs to be good neighbor
Conventional wisdom says nobody loves a sore loser, but an ungracious winner probably wouldn’t prove much more popular.Voters gave Roaring Fork School District Re-1 the green light to build a new Glenwood Springs High School by approving an $86 million bond issue on Nov. 2. For the district, it’s a mandate to give Glenwood Springs High School a necessary expansion and facelift.But the district shouldn’t be surprised that its plans are meeting some resistance – mostly from the businesses that occupy the current site of the future school. The True Value store that anchors the shopping center where officials would like to build the new school and its neighbors are understandably worried about their futures and their fortunes if they have to leave the site.Re-1 has determined the Grand Avenue site is the best place for Glenwood Springs High School, and the district seems determined to rebuild the school there even though it’s heard and considered the objections of the businesses in the area.The school district’s interests in the plaza on Grand Avenue might supersede those of the businesses: If the voters didn’t give the schools a mandate by passing the bond, they at least gave them a suggestion. But that doesn’t mean Re-1’s need for a new school building excuses it from being part of the community. If the school district commits to building where the businesses are, it still has an obligation to be a good neighbor.And that in turn means being honest and forthcoming with information about when the businesses need to close their doors. The school district also should provide whatever help it can in terms of finding new places to do business.Building a new high school downtown is, no doubt, a huge project and a necessary one, and it’s going to have a footprint. But it’s the school district’s responsibility to minimize the negative impacts of undertaking the projects. We’re not suggesting that in order to be a good citizen, the district has to give in to any resistance it meets. Rather, it should be careful in weighing its interests against others.Voters have given the schools new classrooms where young citizens will learn lessons from their teachers. But the school district is also teaching lessons on citizenship and the right and wrong way to do things through its actions. After all, the lessons the new Glenwood Springs High School leaves as its legacy won’t just come in the classroom.Voters have given the schools new classrooms where young citizens will learn lessons from their teachers. But the school district is also teaching lessons on citizenship and the right and wrong way to do things through its actions. After all, the lessons the new Glenwood Springs High School leaves as its legacy won’t just come in the classroom.
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Thanks, Mayor Richardson