Evan Smith: Time for compromise on School bond

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Commentary / Evan Smith

Voters in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park shouldn’t have to choose between new high schools and the community’s Museum.

Yet, that’s what the School District is asking us to do on the ballots that arrive in our mailboxes this week.

Either we vote “yes” to start building new high-school buildings and relegate the Museum to a fraction of its current space while incorporating the rest of the 98-year-old Ronald School building into a new Shorewood High School campus, or we vote “no” and force an expensive revote in April or May.

A “yes” vote means protracted litigation over terms of the Museum’s title to the old Ronald building and its lease on the land,

A “no” vote means a delay in building the new schools and a second vote in the spring, an election that the School District would have to pay for.

Neither of these is a very good choice. So, let’s find a compromise in which the School District would promise to leave the Museum alone, and the Museum board would agree to raise enough money to buy the land.

What if we have no compromise by Election Day? Then, I have no choice but to vote “no” and hope that the School District can come up with a better plan for the April or May election.

I know that Shorecrest has deteriorated over the more than fifty years that the building has been there and that Shorewood was never a very good building, having been built as a combination of an elementary school and a junior high school

I want to get it right this time even if that means taking a second vote.

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