Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fighting City Hall...

I was at a meeting yesterday.  One of the administrators made a comment that kinda got my knickers in a twist, so I wrote this letter.  I sent it to the person, and many others. Personally, I'm hoping it shows up in my local newspaper, too.  Names have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent.

Ms. Person,
I was at the  Renovation Meeting yesterday morning.

I was appalled that you would think and publicly say that the members of the public who were at that meeting did not care about academics, have an agenda, and are trying to sabotage the HS construction project. That was extremely unprofessional and insulting!  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Mrs. Other Person was right - we are not there to sabotage. We are there because we care about the students at HS and the project.  We have every right to tell you what we don't like about your project.  We have every right to want only the best for our students. The best does not involve water walls or water reclamation systems. The best does involve a safe facility, excellent teachers, and a well rounded education for our children.

I believe this is all a matter of perspective. You don't have students at HS. You don't have students in the system. We do. Our children are involved in Band and Theatre as well as Athletics.  Our children are not the lower academic students, but the students who have GPA's above 4.0.  We are in the building on a regular basis because we volunteer to help when asked. We see what the students and faculty need. We see what they don't have. We see the teachers and students struggle with storage, lighting and acoustics. We see them make do with what they have knowing that across the county there are two schools who have it all.  We see our music students come out of rehearsals with ringing ears. We see a stage and an auditorium that SHOULD be the gold standard in the county, but is run down and in disrepair.  The HS Performing Arts department does amazing things with what they have. They could do so much more. Our students are the students who represent the county. It's time the county stepped up and represented them.

Our perspective is that of parents and a tax payers.  Our perspective is that we don't see you in our school. We don't see you asking the faculty and staff who use the facilities what they need. We see you giving them what you want them to have.  Is this really what they need??  You want us to spend $25 million of our tax dollars on a project that does not address or come close to meeting the needs of the students and faculty at HS.  You want us to be happy that you are putting up a big beautiful building when the Performing Arts wing doesn't have a fire suppression system, handicapped access, decent restrooms, adequate classrooms or storage.

Now, at the last minute, it seems that Performing Arts is important.  You mentioned that Architecture Firm would design the new Performing Arts classrooms. No offense, but shouldn't those who are going to be teaching in those classrooms be involved in the design? Music and Performing Arts classrooms are not simply square classroom boxes. They need high ceilings. They need their own HVAC. They need acoustic design. They are not an average classroom.  Let those who will use the facility tell you what they need and be involved in the design.

I am not sabotaging anything, Ms. Person. I'm simply trying to make sure that our students, faculty, and staff have what they need.

1 comment:

Renee Nefe said...

it sounds as if Ms Person was taking your disapproval of her pet project personally.

You're right that the funding should go to needs and not wants...and bringing the current building up to code seems to be the most important need.

Good Luck! I hope Ms Person sees the light.