Remote location for new high school could drain tax dollars

Monday, September 17, 2007 | 10:31 a.m. CDT; updated 6:09 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

I am writing regarding the proposed sites for the new high school.

I have heard it said that the Columbia School Board “just can’t” turn down land that is donated. However, even if the land itself is donated, if a remote site is chosen, it could prove to be very costly to taxpayers when infrastructure costs such as sewers, water and road improvements are taken into consideration.

A remote location would also make it necessary for students to drive or be bused miles from home. This places a financial and time burden on students and their busy parents and is a waste of fossil fuels. In addition, it has been estimated that the contract price with First Student, the company which buses students for the Columbia School District, could be as much as a million dollars extra per year for additional drivers and buses if a remote site is chosen. Spending money to bus students across town is taking money away from their education.

I hope the school board will take the above factors into consideration when making this important decision. I also hope the board will allow the committee they appointed sufficient time to study all the complexities and costs involved in this issue. To not do so will, in the long run, be detrimental to our students and our community.

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