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Support the LWSD bond measure | Letter
The opposition arguments to the April 22 Lake Washington School District ballot measure, Proposition 1, have it wrong this time.
While one can empathize with the argument that questions why the Lake Washington School District does not more fully examine opportunities to remodel and renovate older schools in the district versus seemingly always to push for building new structures, in the case of the current bond levy before the voters that argument is not a valid one as it pertains to Juanita High School.
The largest single school construction project covered by the levy is to build a new Juanita High School. Built as an experiment, an “open classroom” concept during the 1970’s, the experiment has failed miserably. Efforts over the years to build walls and make structural changes in the school to convert Juanita back to a more traditional classroom configuration have proved very difficult. The school is poorly designed and no amount of band-aid solutions will work short of tearing down the school and starting over.
Residents of the Juanita High attendance area have supported Lake Washington School District bond measures for more than 20 years, including new high schools for Eastlake, Redmond and Lake Washington. Yet the last two bond measures that would have funded a new Juanita High have failed. It’s time that the citizens of the Lake Washington School District showed the same support to the students and families in the Juanita High attendance area that Juanita families have shown to the rest of the district.
A new Juanita High School is sorely needed in order to meet the needs of 21st century secondary students. There is one exception however; and that is the Juanita High School Field House. While in need of a new roof, and some remodeling of locker rooms, the Juanita Field House is a district-wide asset that would never be duplicated today and should not be torn down.
Please support the levy by saying yes to a new Juanita High School and to parity in secondary education throughout our school district. Vote yes on Proposition 1. To the rest of the district, it’s time to pay it forward.
Keith Dunbar, Kirkland