Letter to the editor | Taxpayers deserve more

April 22, 2014 

The State College school board is explaining and the group Friends of State High is faithfully repeating that no less than $115 million is required to correct our high school buildings.

This assessment is often embellished by suggesting a risk of near collapse.

The district and the Friends of State High provide “Vote Yes” brochures displaying photographs and descriptions of dirty sinks, mud by a basement stairwell, broken cabinets and ceiling tiles, and a longtime rain-flooded area adjacent to the driver-training course.

But a walk-through suggests sound building structure with long-neglected service systems. The repair-only cost is repeatedly said to be no less than $70 million to meet Centre Region code; therefore, $115 million for a renovated campus is a bargain, according to the school board.

Somehow, we need 30 percent new space for 10 percent fewer students.

It also concerns me that the $70 million threat is the same dollar amount that was presented to the Upper Dublin School District when the referendum consultant was its school board’s president.

It would be helpful if, rather than providing the architect’s rough per-square-foot estimate for repair, the school district defended the dubious $70 million figure by providing a comprehensive cost analysis from competitively bidding contractors.

Taxpayers voting May 20 who are being asked to approve a referendum that would result in a 7.2 percent tax increase deserve no less.

Mary Marino

State College

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