Fluvanna 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.