On Tuesday, Mount Vernon votes on a proposed bond issue. Our children graduated from the Mount Vernon schools; we are grateful for the education they received. However, the bond proposal does not have sufficient merit.
When the new high school was built (with a bond of $9 million), high school enrollment was 406. Last year’s enrollment was 414. It was built to hold 120 students per grade “comfortably”. The superintendent was quoted in The Sun, saying that if the bond issue passed, it would solve the Mount Vernon Community School District’s facilities problems for the next 25 years. Now a dozen years later we are asked to approve a bond issue almost twice as large as the one that built the new high school.
The proposal seems to be a potpourri of every constituency’s wish list, perhaps in the hopes of gathering support by providing something for everyone. This includes a huge outlay connected with abandoning the historically significant football field and another to replace the auditorium. During the last bond issue campaign, we were told that there was space in the new high school set aside for a new auditorium, whose cost would be $1.7 million.
By coincidence, the total for this bond issue is almost exactly the maximum amount the district is allowed to borrow. If these new facilities are built, will they be maintained better than the existing facilities? If so, what will that cost?
It doesn’t seem that this is a wise or prudent measure.