The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 6, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, February 6, 2013

Students don’t care if school is new or old

If the faculty at the schools slated to be demolished, rebuilt and/or relocated were asked if they thought their buildings needed replacing, I think the majority would say no.

Students don’t care if they go to school in a new-looking building or an old one as long as it is functional, and just because the School Building Authority said it will match funds is no reason to celebrate.

We need to take a step back from the melee of obtaining (and wasting) government funds and realize that these schools have serviceable lives left of 20-plus years. No matter where in the government the tax dollars come from, they are still my tax dollars and therefore need to be used responsibly.

Our officials in all branches act like obtaining federal or state dollars is something to take pride in, but I would personally be very proud of an official who said we can do without wasting those tax dollars.

Instead of seeing how big of a budget we can run on, let us keep the necessities and celebrate the cuts of the less useful and useless (iPads) things. I am sure there are some things that really need fixed at these schools, but do we really need to tear them down and rebuild just because there are not electrical outlets every foot or because of a lack of air-conditioning? We got along fine when I was in school without AC because the old schools were not designed as jails (they have openable windows!)

Our region has some shining examples of how wasteful our government can be. Just look at the beautiful Canyon Rim Visitor Center at New River Gorge just off the Interstate at Sandstone not close to anything and attracting an abysmal number of visitors each year. If those in control had stepped back and looked at the location wisely and used some restraint instead of jumping to spend promised government money, we could have had a nice office at Sandstone Falls, new things at Grandview or a nice chunk of UNSPENT tax dollars to fix the deficit.

So let us look again at what really needs done, instead of what we think will make our county’s school system look good. If you give a good teacher good supplies (not meaning extra technology) and administrative support that is not overwhelming with paperwork, they can do the job they need to do. A new building and more computers will not change this.

I have moved out of the county and therefore I am asking you to vote no on the bond for me. Your vote really will make a difference in how our government wastes (or saves) its money.


Isaac Mills


Vote ‘yes’ to excess levy and ‘no’ to bond call

I would like to send a special “thank you” out to Madrith Chambers and Judy Patterson for their diligence in the fight against the bond call.

The Raleigh County Board of Education is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. The board has told us that with the bond call, Lester/Crab Orchard/Soak Creek would get a new school, then Stratton Elementary would be built next. Please don’t believe this rhetoric! If you look at the bond call order, Stratton is listed last in the second series of the call.

We have been told that there is asbestos in Stratton, that because of the thickness of the cinder blocks, it cannot be retrofitted for water fountains for elementary grade children. The gymnasium roof is made of wood and the rooms get extremely hot in the spring and summer months of school and the new windows that were installed several years ago were not Thermopane.

What amazes me is that Stratton was built in 1939 to house high school students. Don’t you think the BOE at the time the transition was made from high school to middle to elementary were aware of these problems? Park Middle School (formerly Woodrow Wilson High) was built in 1925, but millions of dollars have been spent to install air-conditioning in that school. Wouldn’t you think that Park has some of the same structural issues? Ask the board when was the last time bond call money was used to update Stratton.

They tell us that Stratton Elementary will be a “state of the art” school. I’m sure they said the same thing when they built Beckley-Stratton Middle and Beckley Elementary. If the new building proposed for Stratton is anything like those schools, we need to say “no thank you” because of all the problems they have had at those schools.

In addition, students attending Stratton whenever the school is being built, will be bused 4.1 miles outside of their district to the old Crab Orchard Elementary. Is this the board’s way of redistricting?

The assessor has stated the assessed value of our property is going to increase; therefore, your taxes are going to increase.

I urge you to review the first and second series projects. The majority of the bond call monies are to be used for projects outside of the local school district, but your tax dollars are going to pay for the projects with no guarantee that Stratton Elementary school will be built.

Please vote “no” (against the bond issue).

Doris Boyden-McCormick