I am a senior citizen working with the campaign Stand Up For Schools. The school election is set for Aug. 5, and if you are a registered voter your ballot will be sent to you on July 18. I am proud to support the effort to help our local schools and one of America’s greatest gifts, public education.
The greatest portion of the ballot issues are the replacement of Artondale School and the construction of a new elementary school in Gig Harbor North. When I talk to voters about Artondale, which was built in 1959, many rightfully say it has been added on to, remodeled and partly replaced, so why do we now need to replace the whole school? To me, the answer has become obvious: the primarily wood frame building has developed leaky roofs, rotten siding, a settling foundation, a ventilation system which is out of date and replacement equipment is no longer available, and facilities which are not suited for moving disabled children from one level to another. Furthermore, it has a history of mold and cracked walls from the water leaks. So, at what point should it be decided to stop bandaiding, nickel and diming, criticizing and wasting valuable assets on a deteriorated building? The answer is now.
Purdy Elementary, a building constructed to house 450 pupils in 1971 now has the original 20 classrooms, 14 portables and a total of 720 pupils. The pressure of insufficient space or time to schedule classes for library, music, gym, lunchroom, lavatories, assemblies, parent meetings, bus and parent parking is unacceptable. An additional new school in the Gig Harbor North area is essential because of the population growth of family homes in that area.
Our family will be voting yes for both the bond issue and levy, and please remember, when the ballot issues pass, it will still take two years to complete the new buildings to house pupils.