IOW should scrap bonds for new school

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, February 1, 2012

To the Editor:

During the last election cycle, I visited over 70 percent of the homes in the Carrsville District while running for Isle of Wight County supervisor.

When I introduced myself and told them why I was there, it was like turning on a water faucet. The concerns of the people were overwhelming. These concerns separated into three distinct categories.

The first were those that have happened and are beyond addressing. The second were those that were solved by the election. The third category is the one where we can still do something about it.

I plan on going before the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors each month with one of these concerns and hopefully they will listen better than the last board did. I also plan on placing those concerns in letters like this each month.

The first of these concerns is the 25 percent tax increase placed on us by the last board. We were told that the taxes we pay were the lowest in the area. That is not an acceptable explanation when it is to go up at that large an amount.

I feel that the main cause of this increase is due to the decision to build the new middle school. The $23 million cost is more than we taxpayers can afford. It is my suggestion that the county return the interest-free money and cancel the bond issue, which will lower the tax increase if not cancel it.

There was a facilities study done by the county in 2001 that showed there is room available in the existing school buildings to house the students from the existing middle school.

The sixth-graders could be placed in their respective elementary schools, which are the Windsor and Carrsville schools. The seventh- and eighth-grade students can be housed in Windsor High School.

Even if it was felt that the addition of the students to Windsor High School would cause some crowding, there is enough room at that site to add up to 12 classrooms, extend the cafeteria and add a new gymnasium. This cost would be way less than the original $23 million cost of a new school.

I might suggest that the full Board of Supervisors meet with the full School Board so that all of the ideas can be discussed to solve all of the school finances. There are many things that can be done better and all ideas should be considered. This is the largest expense the county has and it should be well thought out.

Also, if the middle school students are moved to the high school, it would be a nice idea if they add the Tyler name to the front of the building.

Tom Gaskell