Penni Fishbaine | The community has spoken

April 23, 2014 

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The community has spoken

Don Gordon claims he has a better way for the State College Area High School (“There’s a better way,” CDT, Thursday).

Evidence shows that he doesn’t speak for our community.

The current high school buildings — originally a 1950s-era high school and a 1960s-era junior high — are failing.

In 2013, the State College Area School District sampled 6,751 community households, and 1,667 voters responded.

Gordon’s way — a makeover of these two mismatched, outdated buildings — received just 26 percent support from respondents, and $70 million later, it still wouldn’t address the community’s top priorities: maximizing safety and improving the educational environment.

The State High project is a long-term, comprehensive solution for the Westerly Parkway campus.

Grades 9-12 would be regrouped in new and renovated space on the south side of Westerly Parkway.

The plan eliminates the need for students to cross the street during the school day and organizes students into learning communities to improve teacher-student relationships.

It corrects storm-water issues, adds an athletic field, increases class time and improves traffic flow. It adds a new wing for the Delta Program, a SCASD learning community that has operated in the Fairmount building for 40 years.

Gordon addresses none of these issues.

Community consensus shows us the best way.

Since 2009, the school board has solicited community guidance in every step of this transparent process.

The referendum gives our community the final say on $85 million of new debt to update our high school facilities.

My vote will be about children, education and the future.

Penni Fishbaine

Houserville

The writer is president of the State College school board.

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