Voting on any matter can be controversial. There are always going to be people for and against the proposed issue regardless of how great or ridiculous any issue is. The big debate in Ellensburg recently is weather or not to pass a bond to build a new middle school.
Morgan Middle School, which is over 50 years old, is virtually failing apart and said to be unsafe for the students attending. The bond proposes a $39.9 million dollar new school to be built on the same land area of the high school and Valley View Elementary.
Now weather you agree with the financials of a new school or not you’d have to read the bond and tax rate information to be fully educated. However basic facts about the new school need to be considered. From a PR standpoint, I believe the school board and supporters of the bond should be publicized more information about the bond and what the new school will do for the community. Key facts weren’t published in the many news articles regarding the issue and instead focused heavily on the tax part of the equation.
Why did they chose the new land spot? Grouping together almost all of the community schools in one area seems interesting. I’m sure they received some deal on the land or have some reasoning behind it but think about what adding another school to that block is going to do to traffic. Or if a Newtown situation were ever to occur, almost all of our youth would be in one general area.
What is going to happen to the current middle school? The whole reasoning behind needing a new school is that Morgan is ‘condemned’ on some levels and ‘falling apart’. Recently I’ve heard rumors from some well respected community members that they plan to move the elementary students from Lincoln into the middle school after the new is built so how does that even make sense.
If the bond does not pass, then what? If that school is as bad as it’s made out to be that would mean that it will literally fall down in the next few years. Where will the middle school students go then? To the high school where they are exposed to drugs and other situations past their maturity levels?
Rather than seeing teachers and supporters out holding signs on the street and a few meetings regarding the bond I have seen virtually no information aside from taxes. When supporting a cause, or promoting anything really, it’s important to lay out basic facts that the voters or potential supporters will want to know. The school board could have taken larger use of social media and held community meetings for people to ask questions like these and others.
Even when it comes to politics, PR is everywhere.