The School Board lacks transparency, competency and ethics. They have a marginal reputation for educational quality and many parents look elsewhere. The public is often bamboozled by the Board.
The School was adversarial with the community in the sale of Diggers Field which should have as a required new development fit the historic character of the neighborhood with some affordable housing. The Board fought having a park set aside until the City forced them to.
The New Elementary School project doesn’t even need half of the vacant 83,000 square feet for around 140 students which they ignored. I presented an alternative of demolishing half the vacant school building which they didn’t bother to study. The proposal for an arts and performance center there will still not fill much of the space and it lacks code required parking so they are proposing bussing people in and out. I am not against an arts center but this is a forced solution. The design they presented does not separate this public venue from the school which is a security problem they deny.
The ridiculously over-budget Bus Barn also puts the School Board’s competency to meet the new Elementary School budget into question. There were alternatives presented to the Bus Barn on the school track, which is more expensive because it is forced into the mountain, robs the kids of scarce sports field space, and could be used for some housing. But the School Board ignores alternatives including one by the City to share a new maintenance building. Then they tried to build it without real community input and required City approvals and wound up in litigation.
The School Board lacks transparency and seems to make its decisions behind the curtain. I have been involved at public meetings as a citizen architect and while I have been brutally honest (and ignored), I have not broken any rules.
Bottom line: dump the School Board and vote out all incumbents.
Mike Caistor, Idaho Springs
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