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Letter: New school wing matter of safety, not just cost

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

To the editor:

After reading the article regarding the petition drive in the Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson school district (“Petition battle set to begin,” Aug. 21), we felt compelled to share our reaction. It would appear that citizens (and two board members) object to updating a building that has sections that are between 28 and 75 years old.

The updating is to increase the safety to students and to likely bring the building up to current health codes. The objection to this was price. If the article is correct, the new construction will be “much more building for the money” than trying to do a piecemeal improvement. That sounds as if the board is making a fiscally sound decision.

Since our retirement to a small farm in the Trafalgar area, my husband and I, like many other retirees, are certainly sensitive to financial concerns; however, we are equally aware of the need to keep our school facilities in a state to improve learning and student safety. The old argument that “it was good enough for me” just doesn’t fly. Every aspect of schools has changed: Custodians must be alert to the chemicals they use; cafeteria workers have an incredible number of rules to ensure food safety.

I would certainly hope that persons engaged in the transportation of our students have buses that have been upgraded to meet new standards. In short, school demands have changed and the changes aren’t free.

If we had children in school, supporting the new construction would be a no-brainer. As grandparents with no students in the system, we are grateful that we don’t have to cough up additional tax money to assure the children who live in our community have the educational facility that will maximize their health, their safety and, thus, their learning.

Steve and Anne Young


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