Tot-Teaching Trailers Still Abound

Primary School ChildrenFluvanna County has had problems of over-crowding in the elementary and middle schools for several years now. The band-aid solutions have been to install trailers on the two campuses, but these were only meant to be temporary. Well, another school year has gone by and still no reasonable solution has been provided by the School Board for the near future.

Last fall funding for the controversial Domino Plan was granted by the Board of Superintendents despite a public outcry to the School Board for a referendum. This is the LARGEST expenditure Fluvanna County has ever seen at a whopping $100 Million and the decision was left up to six individuals to make the call. Now just two weeks ago a significant problem surfaced with the proposed site calling for another multi-million dollar expenditure in order to proceed as scheduled.

I am outraged that the School Board seems hell-bent on pushing this plan through and that more members of the Board of Supervisors aren’t saying “WHOA!”. Where is the accountability?!

First of all, this Domino Plan does not address the most immediate need of educational housing for the younger children. It’s goal is to build a really lavish high school first…which is the bulk of the expenditure taxing our community. Then, move the high school students in there while they remodel the recently remodeled high school to accommodate the middle school students. Then, eventually redistribute some of the students from the centralized elementary school into the current middle school. Like the game of dominoes, the completion of each step of the plan triggers the next step.

When this plan was initially proposed, there were a lot of question marks as to what the bottom line price tag would be, and whether it met the most pressing needs first. It was determined that an alternate plan provided a better solution. The School Board shot it down.

Then last year, when the funding for the Domino Plan was approved, there were still question marks in the equation. I guess they figured the question marks were insignificant and that it was okay to get the ball rolling. Ever since the October 2007 public hearing, Doug Johnson has been suggesting another alternate plan, providing a more immediate solution to the real problem at hand at a much more affordable price tag, to both the School Board and the Board of Supervisors, but both Boards insist on plugging their ears.

Now we’re finding that at least one of the question marks in that Domino Plan is in the millions! Are the Boards ready to listen to reason yet?

The “Youngest Children First” Facilities Plan prepared by Doug Johnson in February 2008 is a much more reasonable choice and deserves a serious look. Read it for yourself and demand the Boards to reconsider their decision.

3 thoughts on “Tot-Teaching Trailers Still Abound

  1. Ty Wigal

    Youngest children first for sure. There are kindergarten children riding the bus for an hour or more in this county. The bus routes are forcing children of all grades to be mixed together. What a mess! Fuel prices are really going to put a kink in the plan of the centralized elementary school. The modest scale of economy of one building is now going to be trumped by transportation costs. Let the little kids use the buildings in their own neighborhoods. Make use of all available facilities to alleviate the need for trailers.

    The majority of the leadership in this county have been making brain-dead decisions for a while. I say name them, what they do and hold them accountable to the people. The majority does not want this lavish expense. Budget shortfalls are forecast for most local governments in the nation due in large part to lethargic new construction and stale real estate markets. Now is the time to be fiscally responsible and not burden the tax base with a project that will not come close to alleviating the clear and present problems in the lower grades.

    Vote the turkeys out of office, replace them with true representatives of the people and enable common sense leadership in Fluvanna County. People, the time to act is now!

    Reply
  2. Carrie Wigal Post author

    I just received notice that at the last Board of Supervisors meeting on May 21st, the School Board Superintendent stated the testing was complete and the architects said it was safe and acceptable to build on. If there was further delay in trying to survey another site location, that would cost additional millions of dollars.

    The Board of Supervisors agreed that there should not be any further delay due to this issue being recently brought up. Personally, I’d like to speak with the fellow (Mr. William McCullin) who brought this up and see what his credentials are and hear what his reaction is.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t trust our Superintendent…I believe there is a HUGE conflict of interest there. This man constantly wants more money for school-related business (building and maintenance), yet they can’t seem to do a reasonable job with the funds they have already received. Hmmm.

    Reply
  3. Doug Johnson

    To me it is quite apparent that the rush is to spend the money before the voters figure out just how high their tax bill will be.

    Coupling that to the fact that there is an election coming next year where both the School Board and Board of Supervisors will change to reflect the public will to stop the mad spending.

    It is hoped by these insensitive elected officials that if they get far enough into the project, it cannot be stopped.

    But the facts are that the population will not grow faster than the surrounding communities and that would need to happen to utilize the new school.

    The new school will stop one way or another. It is inevitable, It will either be on the drawing board or with just the foundation poured. When the money stops the project stops.

    The bonds will not sell when the truth is told. No “Lake growth” any more. The lake is full.

    And add to that the economy in the tank. Property values are down the drain.

    Who is going to move here with the $100 million debt?

    We need to take a fresh look at the project.

    Reply

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