This is an attempt to organize and promote civil but blunt discussion on District 428’s school construction efforts.
Quoted from discussion on “Salt in the wound”:
July 6, 2009 at 2:47 am
Ivan, I keep hearing you place blame or fault and point at Mr. Verbic. As if he is the only one making any decisions. He is only one vote on the board. He only relays what the board as a whole dictates. I dont think its quite fair, politically or otherwise, to place blame on any one person. Especially with all facts not known. Its almost as if you think Mr. Verbic runs it all, and is misleading the public that elected him, for a second time I might add, before and after the referendum passed. Remember, its a school board with a school district making recommendations to them. If any blame is to be generally placed, as to additional cost and upgrades to the new schools, you should focus your attention on the school district and its Administrators, Athletic directors,and so on. They are the stick that prods the board in specific directions. So lets not point that finger at one, but instead do a group hug. Generally, I don’t always approve of the way the district handles its business. Being that I am employed by the school district, I know first hand. They will squeeze as much as they can out of this referendum. If only to overcome its already waning system. John Q. Public didn’t really know how badly understaffed the system was before the approval of new schools and still doesn’t.
Here are some real facts from the trenches Ivan~
As it stands today, our school district is well understaffed in the maintenance and custodial departments. Add a few more large schools to the picture and where will the school district stand then? It already has to resort to minimum wage college students to clean, paint, and rearrange the schools in the summer. Mostly due to being understaffed during the school year. We already need to up the budget of the district today, in addtion to what will be needed for the new schools comming. We need to fund, on average, 1-2 employee’s per school to cover the shortfall we have already. Then add all employees for the new schools. That estimate is on the conservative side too! If you need proof of this Ivan, contact NIU. They just did an evaluation of our school district and made its recommendations to this effect. Im not sure if its public, but go for it. I know because I was there.
Our schools are in sad shape and getting worse by the day. Not to mention crowded. You cant imagine the effort needed to maintain them under staffed. We really need to build these schools to last as long as possible. This usually means its not gonna be cheap. So Lets build it right the first time. You should know this Ivan, being a builder contractor. In the long run it will pay off. Its cheaper to pay for this today then in the future, is it not?
As a matter of fact, this “taj mahal” pipe you have been talking about. I’m actually glad to hear we arent going cheap, if the expense is toward quality. The main reason our schools are so bad off is due to sanitary sewer and storm degradation. If we only had used better pipe back then it might not be such a factor. Yes, the underground systems in our older schools is so bad its barely fuctional. It is so very crutial to do this aspect right to increase lifespan and lower cost in the long run. After all we cant move the school and redo it after the fact. We have one chance to do it right.
We really need new schools badly. We also need these new schools to handle the expanding future as well. Can we really afford to not build schools oversized? We must think 20-30 yrs ahead. If not, we just leave the mess to our children.
Your concerns over the school staffing are valid now. Where is the money to employ more staff in our already under staffed, due to buget, expanding school district? Are we gonna under staff the new schools as well?
I am glad to see you have great interest on these issues. I wish more would do so, as long as its with good intentions. Obviously you, and many others, dont know all the facts or you wouldn’t be asking. Keep on asking though, just don’t point so much. Get the black and white proof first. Otherwise, it just hot air. The last thing we need is more misleading information, or accusations of misleading or wrong doing ect. ect.
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