Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"... let’s achieve 'Starr' quality in our new middle school." [Testimony at today's Board of Ed meeting]

Good morning,

My name is Teddy Springer.  I am here once again to talk to you about the building of a middle school at Rock Creek Hills Park, to ask you to put a placeholder in the Capital Improvement Program and to explore the alternative sites for a middle school in our cluster.

Last night, Dr. Starr, had you been able to hold your “Listen and Learn” event at B-CC, I hope you would have listened to our community and learned that to achieve a quality middle school, we have to start with a quality site.  Rock Creek Hills Park is an A+ park, one used by many people from all over our county and beyond.  But it is not a good site for a middle school.

Since beginning your stewardship of our children and our schools, Dr. Starr, I hope you have taken the opportunity to learn these specifics about the park:
  • Though it was once the home of Kensington Junior High, the site is no longer the same because of the senior community that sits where the school once did.
  • It does not provide the necessary space for a middle school on par with Westland.
  • The topography poses a huge challenge to building on this site.
  • The neighboring streets are too narrow, and without sidewalks, to provide proper and safe access to a middle school complex.
  • The many valuable specimen trees and a watershed stream make this site environmentally significant.
But most importantly, I hope you have learned that building a middle school at Rock Creek Hills Park is cost-prohibitive, for exactly the reasons I have just mentioned.  The price to be paid by the county taxpayer would be considerably more than the price paid for other middle schools; yet the finished product would not provide the cluster with a middle school that would give our children an excellent education.  Thus, there would be no equity with Westland.

So please, Dr. Starr, let’s achieve “Starr” quality in our new middle school.  Please put a placeholder in the CIP and advise the Board to continue the search for a middle school site, one that is an A+ site, not one that gets a failing grade.  We recognize the enormity of your task, Dr. Starr, and the myriad of issues before you, but please honor the numerous requests my neighbors and I have made to meet with you.  We want to work together to ensure our cluster continues to provide a gold “Starr” education for our children.

Thank you.

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