MON SCHOOLS, THE SBA, AND THE BLEEDING GREEN SCHOOL
Mon Schools intends to spend $21-$25 million of state, federal, and mostly county funds to build a brand new elementary school, and the best it can do is provide a mere 545 seats at a badly congested, high traffic, undermined intersection, sewage dump site?
It’s just wrong. It’s wrong every way you slice it.
It’s wrong to not use that $21-$25 million dollars to build more seats.
It’s wrong to not use the money to build two 300-seat schools, that will provide two gymnasiums, two community centers, two local playgrounds.
It’s wrong to not use the tens of millions of dollars to build both a city school and a country school. The city and the country both should be provided for.
It’s wrong to not use the tens of millions of dollars to build a city school in Woodburn, in Woodburn Elementary’s catchment, a long established stable residential neighborhood that would welcome such investment and redevelopment.
It’s wrong not to build a country school in Easton Elementary’s catchment for use by both the rural residents of Easton’s catchment – and possibly by the neighboring North Elementary area sprawl developments.
If affordable land cannot be found elsewhere in Easton’s catchment, it’s wrong to not build one of two elementaries on the Easton/North catchment border, on land that Mon Schools already owns, the 94 acres of the UHS campus.
It’s wrong to use tens of millions of dollars and not provide two schools and 600 or 700 seats for both the city and the country rather than one school with only 545 seats at an unstable, rapidly developing commuter and commercial throughway.
It’s wrong to use $21-$25 million and not invest in two separate areas, building two facilities in good locations that are entirely affordable because they are free, the land being already owned by Mon Schools.
When well sited free land is available for two schools, it’s wrong to pay $325,000 per acre for 11.3 acres of land that is 70 percent undermined, and filled with sewage, a mere few dozen feet below the surface. The 11.3 acres cost about $3.7 million. Additional mine mitigation costs alone will be about $1 million, while the cost of sewage remediation (if possible) remains a great unknown.
When well sited freely owned land is available, it’s terribly wrong to spend about $5 million for purchasing horribly sited, health damaging and dangerous land for a highly unpopular school that because of its unstable and careless siting would pose huge civil liability risks for taxpayers during every day of its operation.
It’s wrong to use any money at all to build in a vehicle exhaust polluted and a vehicle noise polluted dangerous, high traffic, incredibly congested intersection of two principal arterial highways. It’s also not lawful.
It’s wrong to claim for months that the school will provide for a couple dozen children from an adjacent trailer park who could walk to school and then arrange to purchase and evict two thirds of the trailer park to build the school parking lot on it.
It’s wrong for a four lane commuter and commercial thruway to be reduced to a 15 mph school zone crawl for at least a half mile of the highways wrapping around the school, but it’s a serious wrong to the students to not have the school zone speed limit.
It’s wrong to use tens of millions of dollars in such a way that hundreds of children will be pushed into and through the polluted and congested gauntlet of 705 and the Mileground, when virtually none of the children live on either 705 or the Mileground and thus would otherwise NEVER have to sit trapped in congestion and be damaged by the pollution or run the risk of the heavily traveled roads and intersection. Both Woodburn and the UHS campus are readily accessible by quality and less congested roads and intersections.
It’s wrong to take tens of millions of dollars and use it against the will of the people. Virtually everyone but Mon Schools prefers two modest sized schools at quality locations. And that’s virtually everyone in the city and in the county (and apparently even commuters from Preston County), far more than just the people in the Woodburn and Easton catchments.
It’s not only wrong to take $21-$25 million and use it with no sense, it’s wrong to use tens of millions of dollar with less then no sense, with no conscience.
The state Attorney General should intervene. The Courts should intervene.
The process of using the $21-25 million has been atrocious and wrong as we have documented in great detail.
As such, it should be of absolutely no surprise that the tens of millions of dollars is being used to harmful and wrong ends.
It’s long since time for this story to change. It’s time for two schools to be built at two good locations that provide for more students in more ways, two modest-size schools that provide individually for both the city and the county, and more for both, than the one disaster of a mistake of an intersection school could ever hope to provide for.
It’s wrong to not use $21-$25 million more wisely, more generously, more carefully.
It’s wrong that Berkeley County WV can build a green school of 600 seats for a reported $13 million while Mon Schools would spend $21-$25 million to build a school of 150 fewer seats.
It’s wrong that so few of these facts and so little of these options have been reported by the local and state media.
And so it’s wrong to not stop the awful unlawful fiasco of the green school siting that has been carried out in deplorable manner.