I have to agree with this reader about the detailed plans for the new Bethany Road High School in Milton. It does look grand. (The plans can be viewed in this Google.doc).
Does this new Fulton County school – or any school — need to be this elaborate when we are cutting teachers and raising class sizes? I have often argued that I would accept a broom closet for my kids’ classroom if a great teacher was leading the class. I think the critical issue is top personnel more than top facilities. That is where I would put my money.
Here is what the reader said:
With all the furloughs, layoffs, budget cuts, shortage of books to take home, elimination of after school programs, art, music, and PE classes, somehow the school boards find the money to build monuments such as the new Bethany Road High School to be built in Milton. The plans give you a perspective of the scope of the structure.
While it is important to provide enough classrooms and other facilities, and to integrate LEED and life cycle costing into the materials used in the public schools, what the h-e-double-l do they need a tower standing 63 above the ground for?
And all the precast material used on the tower and on the building facade will cost 5 to 10 times more than brick. This tower alone will easily cost the taxpayers over $50,000 to construct, and I can see no useful purpose except as a monument to the architect. I guess that is a small amount of money for a monument, considering the budget is an estimated $60 million dollars.
It looks good, along with the expensive precast materials, but are these expensive accents and building materials really necessary to provide the students with a good learning environment? Is there anyone minding the store to see that our property tax dollars are being spent wisely in the economic downturn?