Submitted by KM Hills.
A friend, who knows I have serious concerns about about the management of Clover Park School District, sent me pictures/screen captures which referenced the old Lake City Elementary School field being used as a staging zone. It appears the new Claudia Thomas Middle school was underbuilt and already requires modular buildings. The picture and information was shared in the Lakewood Life Facebook group.
“The decision was made to add this annex when the school board decided not to change the boundaries, moving all Woodbrook and Mann students to Thomas,” said Clover Park School District Communications Manager Ben Miller on the Lakewood Life discussion. Another post in the same Lakewood Life thread was from Alicia Torrez, who also appears to work for the District and she wrote “New buildings attract a higher student population” “it is not always easy to predict incoming student numbers.”
I do not accept the excuse that student numbers are hard to predict. The Board had access to years of enrollment data for both Mann and Woodbrook plus had knowledge of all waivers out of either of those schools and the Board should have accounted for both. Claudia Thomas Middle School should have been built to accomodate all displaced students and there needed to be a plan for growth. This facility should have been built looking 50 years into the future. It sounds legitimate that there was poor planning by the Board to not change the boundaries and the School Board is clearly responsible for the shortcomings. Any blame clearly lands on their desks.
Ben Miller did note the construction cost for Thomas is coming in under budget but one has to ask does that include the cost of this new annex? Not to mention how does it look when there is a brand new multi-million dollar facility with temporary structures on what should have been open space?
I have strongly presented my concerns about years worth of poor test scores in the CPSD. I have also expressed my concerns about levy dollars which Mike Lonergan, Assessor Treasurer, confirmed greatly increased in this District due to the McCleary Decision.
Now just as firmly, I want to express the idea that there needs to be a change of leadership on the Board. This significant change is needed to minimize continued failures for the students and tax payers who fund the QUARTER BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET of the District. Those who have served on the Board longest & have overseen all of these failures must go! If Marty Schafer ( who joined the Board in 2005 with 7 years as President) and Carol Jacobs (in her 6th four year term) haven’t achieved their goals by now they never will.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.