Keep what is useable and add-on at NEVC
We recently attended the Northeast Vernon County R-l Proposition S meeting in Walker.
The administration and school board presented a proposal stressing the need for a new building to be located in a field somewhere near Harwood. We understand that the Schell City building and some of the Walker buildings are beyond repair, but there is much of the Walker facility that could be useable.
Superintendent Naas was questioned as to what would happen to all the buildings if a new school was built. His response was that they would be sold if anyone was interested, or used for some sort of storage. Looking around the gym, it would be a shame to abandon this building as it seems to be in great shape.
Actually, the gym, the Vo Ag building, the music building, shop and elementary building are still very adequate, and useable for many years to come. Granted, the old high school building does need to be demolished and a new building added on to the existing elementary school and gym. Surely there are grants and "stimulus money" available to cover much of the cost. The sports field is already there, plus all the infrastructure such as sewer, water and electricity. The acreage near Harwood could be sold and that money used to improve what we already have. Just think of the savings. Also, think of all the students who live in Walker. They will not be able to walk to and from school as they can now. They will have to ride the school bus to and from the new school. That new school will not have the advantage of being in the middle of a caring community that can look after the students and be there in an instant if there is an emergency or disaster.
Another thing it would save is the Walker community. By building a new school in a pasture, both Walker and Schell City will be left with nothing but empty, decaying buildings. Not quite the look either town wants to present to potential businesses or residents.
The board and administration want you to believe there is no other choice and we have to do this now. If they would only look at what they are taking away from the towns and the residents, they surely could come to a compromise that would take care of the students needs for years to come. Spending nearly $4 million not knowing how much of their budget will be cut in the future is not the answer in these uncertain times.
Robert and Barbara Cubbage