I’m a retired Mountain Home area, and I’ve been exposed to the local school district first-hand for only a few years, exclusively in middle and high schools. What I notice is an excellent teacher and staff leader, who provide innovative and effective education to students in marginal facilities. The curriculum is organized around career paths designed to provide maximum exposure and preparation for productive careers for our students upon graduation. Our teachers and students did great despite the crumbling structure of the high school. I toured the facilities specifically to assess the need for improvement – and attended every school board meeting for over a year. At that time, I noted that budget and program decisions must be well considered and aim to use all resources most effectively to increase the success of our students. The proposed high school upgrade is now essential for these good results to continue – and to do so safely.
As a professional commercial real estate appraiser and development consultant for over 30 years, I have insight that most taxpayers here will not have. From the messages posted, I’m afraid there are those advocating “feasibility studies of repair options” rather than replacement, and I’m sure these people haven’t been trolling the chassis. From my direct observation, the School Board has explored all possible options to repair or partially renovate the building, but due to the nature of previous additions and the state of the underground infrastructure, this is not at all practical. The only feasibility is to redevelop the good layout of the site.
From this perspective, I admire how well our school trustees have created the current solution – and I would very much prefer raising my taxes to pay for it. With these improved facilities, the support provided to the community created by future alumni will return that cost many times over. I encourage everyone to vote for this thousand and our future.
Gerald Gage – Gasville, Arkansas