12/06/99 Bond Issue Questions and Answers for the Pioneer-Tribune #2
        
		
          Q   Why would our elementary schools be better off in one centralized
	  elementary school?
         
          A.  One of the many reasons is building security. School building
	  security and student safety are topics of great concern. There have
	  been a number of tragic incidents at schools across the country. These
	  incidents have forced us to examine this issue closely. All of us like
	  to think that an incident similar to that canít happen here.
	  Unfortunately it can happen, even here.
         
          Recently, we have taken some steps to improve building security at the
	  Middle/ High School. Our students will be safer because of that. But
	  what about our elementary schools? None of the four buildings has a
	  public address system (P.A.). A public address system is not a luxury,
	  it is a mandatory part of any building security system for
	  communication purposes. Because there is no PA. system, none of our
	  four buildings has room to room communication or "all-building"
	  communication. From a security point of view, this is not good.
         
          None of the four buildings has an office where visitors should report.
	  They do not have building secretaries, the person that visitors should
	  report to. Each building has a lead teacher with some general
	  management responsibilities. Each lead teacher has a full-time
	  teaching assignment and a classroom full of students. These demands do
	  not allow them to devote time to building security on a daily basis.
	  Visitors access each of the buildings all day long with no office or
	  person to report to, and no communication system available to
	  employees. Visitors can be inside of the building for long periods
	  before a school employee even knows they are present. The building
	  security system at the four elementary schools is not good, and it is
	  a source of concern. Our new centralized elementary school would be
	  built with up-to-date security features that would help to insure that
	  our children are safe while at school.
         
          Q.  The question is also asked, "why donít you just fix up, repair,
	  remodel and update the existing four elementary schools, and continue
	  to use them?"
         
          A.  On the average, the four buildings are 47 years old. The Lincoln
	  School was built in 1931. The total cost of updating and remodeling
	  all four buildings, including security systems, fire alarm/safety
	  systems, technology infrastructure, barrier free handicapped
	  accessibility, etc., is nearly the same as building the new
	  centralized elementary building.
         
          After consulting with two different engineering firms, and studying
	  the matter for four years, the Board of Education determined that it
	  made better educational and financial sense to propose one new
	  centralized elementary school.
   
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