Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 19, 2013

GCS should check its priorities

— On Nov. 5, Goshen Community Schools is asking us to vote in a special election. School leaders want taxpayers to pay for a $17.15 million renovation to the high school and middle school ($10 million for a new swimming pool). This will raise our property taxes for 20 years, causing hardship on many of our senior citizens and many other families who are struggling. Also, I believe that at some point Goshen Schools will ask us to pay for a new fifth- and sixth-grade school.

I will vote “no” because with our economy still in jeopardy, is it time to take on so much debt? Certainly not for me. Maybe when things stabilize this would be more feasible.

Specific questions still need to be answered, including:

• The pool at Goshen Middle School has be used to benefit all Goshen students, so who will benefit from a new pool?

• Will it essential be used by a small portion of students for swim competition only?

• Where will the new pool be built?

• How will students be shuttled between schools, and if bussed, how will it be paid for?

• How much will the community have use of the pool?

I couldn’t get answers to these questions at recent informational meetings.

It is frustrating that GCS would ask for this renovation after cutting bus transportation, leaving small children on their own on dangerous, dark streets. The bus transportation fiasco that happened without community input is inexcusable. Priorities of GCS, the school board and the community should be 1.) The safety of our children, and 2.) Academics.

We should not consider a $10 million swimming pool as long as our children are walking one mile to school, especially our elementary kids. I would rather pay for their safety than for a new pool.

— Mildred Farrier