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Letters to the editor

Petition for vote Editor, The Sun:

The property owners of Woodford County should be aware that the Woodford County Board of Education passed a motion for a tax hike of 5.5 cents per $100 of property value in order to build a new high school among other capital projects. A Recall Petition Committee has been formed to circulate a petition for the purpose of having the Woodford County Board of Education place the recallable tax hike before the voters on a ballot for the public to decide. The committee members do not believe it is in the best interest of the taxpayers of Woodford County for the Woodford County Board of Education to make this decision on their own without the input of the voting tax payers. The committee believes that the taxpayers need to make the ultimate decision.

You may not be aware of the fact that approximately only 25 percent of households in Woodford County have school-aged children. The school board action does not afford 100 percent of Woodford County taxpayers the opportunity to approve or disapprove their proposed tax hike. This is especially troublesome for the majority of residents who do not have school-aged children.

The Committee urges you to contact your Woodford County School Board members and encourage them to allow the taxpayers to vote on this important issue. School board members include Ambrose Wilson, Margie Cleveland, Debby Edelen, Sherri Springate, and Karen Brock.

Paul Stahler Recall Petition Committee

Investment in the future

Editor, The Sun:

There are many discussions going on in our community concerning the issue of a new high school. I believe both sides have valid concerns, but at the end of the day, I believe we need to thoughtfully respect the recommendations of the District Facilities Committee and the school board to move forward with construction of a new facility.

I strongly believe that learning can happen anywhere and am grateful for the education my children have obtained here. The brick and mortar does not define the education; however, I’ve long believed that a public high school represents the face of a community. We are a Top 10 high school with a robust and successful athletics program. We offer rigorous academics, diverse music programs, opportunities for a myriad of club participation, and our teachers and administrators work diligently to make sure each student is college or career ready.

The current high school has served us well! That building has had additions and repairs and has been well cared for, but the “use by date” is upon us. It is my hope that a new high school can be built without a petition to stop it. While I don’t love a(nother) tax increase, I don’t think it’s realistic to believe our current building can continue to serve our needs much longer. A new high school is an investment in our future.

Paige Slover Versailles

Need for new high school

Editor, The Sun:

I am writing to express my support of the proposed new Woodford County High School. As an architect with over 25 years’ experience in public school design, and having had four kids who have recently gone through this current school, I cannot express enough the dire need for a new updated high school facility for our Woodford County students as well as the community-at-large.

Public education has radically changed over the past 55 years since this high school was constructed, which requires updated schematic concepts that respond to today’s technologies and needs. Today’s students and educators alike require spaces that respond to differing teaching and learning styles. Areas for collaboration, individual instruction and independent learning must be incorporated into the design. Career and technical education needs also required adaptable spaces with the ability to evolve with emerging technologies. These more flexible spaces are better suited to respond to evolving curricula and the ever-changing landscape of today’s marketplace. Our outdated facility, with its restrictive layout, does not address these issues and hinders our students from reaching their full potential.

Studies show that the latest building and environmental codes, as compared to those of the 1960s, improve student productivity and performance. Modern HVAC systems reduce CO2 levels, lessening student fatigue. Improved lighting systems, with a greater emphasis on natural light, are greatly beneficial to the learning environment. School safety is a huge concern, and the latest most proven safety features must be included in the new facility. These updates will provide a much healthier, safer and more productive experience for our students.

Present day energy efficient school design will result in lower operating and maintenance costs as compared to a 1960s building. This will benefit the taxpayer by optimizing energy savings, reducing life cycle costs, and freeing up valuable funds for education.

Lastly, this new facility will enhance the community-at-large by increasing housing values, attracting industry, and bringing in the best and brightest educators. We must not let this opportunity pass us by! We owe it to our students as well as our community to provide the gold standard of education we expect from the Woodford County school system. For these reasons, the question is not whether we can afford to build, but whether we can afford not to build a new high school for the people of Woodford County.

Joe Sandman Versailles

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