Oh, the things that happen in small towns. The back-biting and manipulation. The social pressure and stigmas. It would be almost humorous if it weren't so darn frustrating.
I have seen many Vote Yes signs...and even a "Vote Yes" t-shirt.
(I wonder what will happen to those shirts, signs, buttons after next week?
Trash? And who is funding that? What a waste...)
Just for comparisons sake, let's look at the other area schools and facilities, shall we?
First up is the John McDonnell Field, built in 2006. Yes, I know this isn't a school.
But we'll get there.
Just wanted to throw this in because I find it interesting. It will be "state of the art for a track facility," says Michigan Coach Ron Warhurst. The facility cost about $ 13 million and includes permanent seating for 7, 000 fans, a giant video board, locker rooms and a huge press box. Wow. 13 million for all that. Not bad, right?
Next Up: Rogers Heritage High School. Should open this fall. Cost estimate $115 per square foot, for 330,000 square feet. Ouch. But this one even has buildings centered around a terraced courtyard. Pur-ty.
Here's a great one: Massive Springdale Har-Ber High School, completed in 2005. Have you seen this baby? Looks like a college campus building! At 385,000 sq. ft., that is something to boast about, right? Wow.
Compare that to the estimate of $140 per square foot that Siloam projects,
which does NOT include another 3 million for site development and
10 million for technology & furnishing...
(if that didn't make you suck your breath in, maybe you should read it again!)
Estimated Building Size in Square Feet: 286,798
Projected Construction Cost: $40,151,720
Furniture, Fixtures, Fees: $10,037,930
Site Development Cost: $3,011,379
TOTAL PROJECTED COST $53,201,029
Construction Costs: $140/sq. ft.
This is taken from their own site. Absolute fact.
Now Bentonville voters just rejected a proposed millage increase in March.
The district asked voters to approve a 3.99-mill increase in property taxes
(compare that to our proposed 5.4 mill increase!!)
The increase would have made the district's millage rate 44.09 mills,
the seventh highest rate in Arkansas.
Well, ours right now is around 52, and will go up to 57.5 if this passes.
So what would that rank us??
So, you see, it's not just a gripe about taxes.
Or about funding public education.
Or about buildings.
It's about using the money wisely that they are entrusted with.
And when we make this kind of comparison,
it becomes very obvious that Siloam is being a bit extravagant.
Maybe they're aching for the big city flair.
Maybe it is just about having something to boast about,
like the paper said
(what poor wording.)
Education is really about learning.
It's about imparting knowledge and leading children into a
lifetime love of learning.
And, for that, large expensive buildings are not necessary.
We do not need to outdo everyone else.
We do not need to pay almost twice as much per square foot as Springdale's HarBer high, just to have something better.
Who can afford that?? This is not about one-upping everyone else.
It should be about education.
A very serious part of education in any field is training in wise use of funding.
How to get the most for the money...
not how to spend the most money to get something....
53 million is NOT necessary.
I Voted NO.