- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:16
While I've followed the school issues in the past, I was never quite so involved. The amount of information that I have received from various sources and tried to sift through is amazing. Amazing... but also confusing. It's confusing because the statements from district officials over the years have jumped around so much.
For instance, contrast some of these things that were stated in 2008 with what is being said today (source 2008 Facilities Committee FAQ):
- What options exist for McCormick Middle School? We can either renovate the building and continue to use it as a school, abate and demolish the facility...
- Is geothermal possible for all three of our current buildings? Yes
- Even though OSFC's costs to renovate Westwood were below the state's 2/3's guideline, a waiver was filed with and approved by the state to abate and demolish the facility because of inefficiencies in the building and site.
- One option presented to the public was to renovate part of McCormick and demolish and rebuild other parts to make the building ready for grades 3-6, while Westwood would be renovated for K-2.
So only four years ago, McCormick could be renovated and Westwood and the High School were considered inefficient. How have the tables been turned so much? The latest Building Project FAQ states "... if you look at Westwood and the High School you'll see examples of two very well cared for buildings." If Westwood and the High School were made viable in less than four years, why couldn't the same be done with McCormick?
Also, I find it very interesting that four years ago it was deemed necessary to move third grade from Westwood to McCormick and to make McCormick a Grades 3-6 building. That seems to indicate more space was necessary in each building. But now, only four years later, studies are indicating that enrollment is dropping so quickly that we can move grades 4-8 into a building that is 37% smaller than McCormick? This fact alone makes me question the proposed new middle school. For these numbers to change this much in just four years, it seems like a huge risk to build a new facility that will have a rated capacity of only 447 students, which is 93 fewer students than McCormick had in the 2011-2012 school year. If there was that big of a swing four years ago, what is preventing an up swing from happening in another four years? If this were to happen, you'd be left with a school too small for the enrollment and the district will just be back for more money again. Isn't one of the goals of building a new school to attract families and students to the district? Then why would you design and build a new facility with a rated capacity significantly lower than your current enrollment? If the alternative plan for McCormick would cost about the same or maybe even less, then why not play it safe and do that from the start?
Disclaimer:This site is not affiliated with the Village of Wellington, Wellington Exempted Village School District, or Citizens for Wellington Schools. This site is privately owned and maintained and all expenses are paid for out of my own pocket. This portion of the website was created to bring all pertinent information to one place, because when I did my own research on the subject I found that the information being published is sometimes incomplete or incorrect. I have been careful to verify as much of my information as possible. The sources of my data can be found within the links on the Resources page.