To Bond Or Not To Bond

On Feb. 26 the school board voted for the new bond proposal. If it passes, Rider and Old High will cease to exist and one new school will be built. This does not mean the old schools will be completely demolished. They will be used for other educational opportunities that have yet to be decided.
The new school would have a capacity of 1900, housing students in grades 10-12. Also, there would be a separate freshmen campus at the current McNiel campus. This would be convenient for students because the proposed high school, freshman campus, and renovated stadium would be within walking distance of each other.

“Let’s say we wanted PALs to go over and mentor some of the freshmen, then they would be able to walk over and do that,” Principal Judy McDonald said. “Or if we had a freshman who took chemistry, most freshmen don’t take chemistry, but they would still have the option to walk over and take that class.”

To supplement the new high school, the proposal allots $10 million to renovate the current Hirschi campus. These renovations would include accessibility upgrades with the addition of an artificial turf football/soccer field with seating for 3,000.

Last fall the private group “MGT of America” graded all three high schools giving each facility a percentage, just like a student would receive a grade in an English class. Rider and Old High received grades of 69.19 and 65.99 respectively which correlates to a “poor” rating. Hirschi’s grade was a 73.56 which correlates to a “fair” rating. It was decided that Hirschi, with necessary renovations, could remain functioning as a smaller supplementary campus and house around 1100 students.

Another addition in this proposal would be a CTE center (Career and Technical Education center). Not only would it function like Carrigan, but it would offer more comprehensive trades like culinary arts and medical technology in addition to those already offered at Carrigan. This center would hopefully partner with Vernon College and allow students to get an associates degree in a trade along with their high school diploma.

McDonald wants every student to be aware of this plan. She said that people will find fault in any plan, but she believes that the district has come up with the a way to receive the appropriate amount of money they believe they can ask for. McDonald said new opportunities would exist at the new campus, but the local traditions would have to be reformulated as they were with Zundy.

If the bond fails, district lines would be redrawn and the capacities of each school would be changed. This would result in the relocation of students who have traditionally gone to Rider, Hirschi, or Old High. Some students would have to move to another school according to where the district lines are drawn. McDonald is not sure where these lines would take affect because that

information has not yet been released.
Whether or not the bond issue passes on May 20 all students in the district will be affected in some way.