Districts should learn some lessons from failed bond vote

Our View

It is unfortunate that the recent vote on the bond for the new high school and renovations was not passed by the Cedar Falls District, but there are ideas that could help improve the project and let it be presented to the community in a more clear and understanding way.

The project can still be seen as very beneficial, even with the amount of doubts it has. For future students of both elementary and high school levels, the schools available to them would be renovated and top-notch.

“You can look around the building and see that we’re short of rooms and larger class sizes,” business education teacher Mike Hansel said. “We are in dire need of a new high school.”

With new rooms available to the students and teachers, both the educational needs and the school activities would have available facilities ready for them to use to their full advantage. These places, built specifically for certain activities and courses, can let the students be able tap into their full potential whatever the activity may be.

“We’re doing good things, so why don’t we do great things?” English teacher Doug Wilkinson said.

While the overall project has its best mind for the children’s and teenagers’ educational surroundings, some of its details remain a bit shaky.

“I think there were many factors that caused people to vote no including the cost, inaccurate information, economic impact, etc.,” Superintendent Andy Pattee said.

As part of the community, the presentation of this expensive and long-term project was not very well shown, thus giving some people inaccurate information. Had there been an earlier window of plans, fuller details and clearer answers to questions at public hearings, those who were questionable about the bond as a whole would have understood and most likely voted under more solid judgements.

“Things to improve would certainly be to give a more clearer understanding for this bond,” Wilkinson said. “There was so many things on there that it made it confusing,”

Included with the confusion of facts would be the large price tag attached to this plan. For the elementaries and the high schools renovations and construction, the whole thing adds up to a whopping $118 million project. Much of the money would be from escalating taxes of the civilians of Cedar Falls. For some this would be up to $700 dollars annually over the course of the bond. For those who would like the bond to pass the next round, it would be best to lower the prices and reconsider them to a certain degree. “The price tag was just too high. We have to adjust the price,” Hansel said.

While the bond has the right ideas for students of Cedar Falls, its current state will need some adjustments for it to be fully accepted by the majority of the adults and students alike. If the bond in general is not something that the community can agree on as a whole, we can only expect the next generations to be falling asleep in the same classrooms we did years before.

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