I have two sons from Cambodia, both of whom attended and loved Johnson. My oldest, Tim, graduated from Washington and is at UNI. My youngest, Chris is a senior at Washington. I have been president and treasurer of Johnson PTA. I have been the Johnson Volunteer of the Year. My credentials and love for Johnson should not be disputed.
I am concerned that one of the proposals includes building a larger school at the site of Johnson. For those not familiar with the physical facility, Johnson is on basically one square city block, has absolutely no green space, and is woefully inadequate as an outdoor facility. It has no walking trail and no soccer/football field, nor any space to even pretend that you could have one. It would make more sense to close Johnson and build a larger facility at the Grant Wood location, than to further diminish the playground space at the current location.
Students at Johnson are getting the short end of the proverbial stick of the proposal. Our students deserve to be in a similar building with a comparable outdoor space.
I am told that the reason they didn’t move Johnson is because of an attendance problem. If so, then I would suggest that the board and the consultants visit schools with similar demographics to seek information on solving that problem.
I would urge the school board to delay voting on this proposal and go back to those consultants and ask them to remedy this problem.