Many of the problems facing the State College Area High School are due to willful neglect. For example, the street crossing and flooding problems existed before my daughter started at State High in 1992. Why weren’t the problems addressed then? Why was the natatorium (opened in 1990) built before these problems were addressed? Why were other maintenance issues, like the heating system, allowed to accumulate? Was the focus always on building a new school?
Taxpayers must first understand that the total cost of the project is not the advertised $115 million. According to Randy Brown (district business office), the total cost of this project, including all interest payments over 30 years, could total nearly $325 million. If accurate, the district will essentially pay for this renovation approximately three times and waste between $4 million and $7 million per year on interest payments.
Taxpayers also need to remember that the district operates 15 school buildings. According to the district, some of these 15 are also in need of renovation. In my opinion, taking $10 million from the capital reserve for the high school project jeopardizes the ability of the district to fund other improvements without additional tax increases.
Repairs are necessary. If, however, prioritized and planned over time, repairs can be made without any special tax. Had this been done earlier, we would not be faced with this referendum vote now.
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Vote against the referendum May 20.