Get facts straight about Mathews

DEAR EDITOR:

In a letter published last month, Mathews Board of Education candidate Dan Douglas wrote, “It’s time we come together as a community and do what’s for our children and residents … Sell the old Prestwick golf course and Currie building and use these funds to make repairs that must be done, now.”

He suggested we move our Currie students into trailers. How is that best for our students? These students would have to exit the trailers to use the restroom, eat lunch, go to gym and to music class. What would we do for a lunch room and gymnasium for these students? Where is the savings in the purchase and installation of these trailers?

As for looking at using the money from the sale of these two properties for repairs that must be done now, we are looking at over $2 million in immediate repair needs. We need new HVAC systems at both Baker and Mathews High School. The cost for the HVAC was over $800,000 at the high school four years ago. Both buildings need roof repairs / replacement. The high school needs to be made ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant within the next three years for a fourth-grade student. There is also the cost of the sewer tie-in at the Mathews high school building that will need to be bid out.

It’s expected to cost over $50,000. I don’t believe we will get that type of money from an old golf course and a building that doesn’t have clean drinking water.

He said, “Open the district to bidding.” We already do that. Board policy 6320 regarding purchases addresses the bid process.

Mr. Douglas incorrectly said only 30 students graduate. We graduated 53 students in 2017. We have 62 seniors and 66 juniors this year.

He said, “We have room to move the board of education into Baker or the high school.” By closing Neal, we added rooms at the high school for seventh- and eighth-graders. We squeezed sixth grade into Baker. There’s no more rooms at either building, and trailers are not an option!

Mr. Douglas stated, “If we don’t change, we are looking at consolidation, which, I hope we don’t have to pursue.” In fact, Mr. Douglas has said many times in board and bond meetings that consolidation is our only option. Our board has contacted neighboring districts. They all said no to consolidation, but some will discuss shared services.

Please get your facts from people that are required by law to give them to you. Call the Mathews Board of Education for the real facts.

TARIN BROWN

President

Mathews Board of Education

COMMENTS