To the Editor:
I want to express my deep concern with the Troy “New Plan for Neighborhood Schools” upcoming bond issue.
The idea that we will still have “neighborhood” schools would simply be a thing of the past especially for the Kyle and Heywood families. Demolition of the current schools and replacing with buildings on State Route 718 or Swailes takes the idea of “neighborhood” out of the equation. It is undetermined to which school location — either State Route 718 or Swailes — the Kyle, Heywood, and Forest children would be bused. There might be equipment (buses) to get the job done, but many more miles would need to be driven because most of those Pre-K thru fourth grade children would be bused. There is no walking accessibility to the State Route 718 (Concord) and new Swailes buildings.
The Troy taxpayers have generously funded all school operating and bond issue requests since 1999 with the exception of the 2017 bond/classroom facilities (combined) request for 4.61 mills. This was for a large elementary campus expenditure on Nashville Road. Please recall that after the issue failed, the board spent (and lost) $25,000 of taxpayer dollars to “hold” that same property for one year even after the issue was voted down (60%-40%).
We currently have 11 years remaining on the 2004 bond issue for $21.2M. Those dollars funded windows and cafeteria at Concord, improvements at Forest, and improvements plus gym at Troy High School.
Why become obligated to a $98M and 37-year commitment? The added cost to the homeowner would be $248/year per $100,000 home value.
Building several buildings simultaneously is a major undertaking and magnitude which this Board or Superintendent has not previously experienced. Building simultaneously also means those same buildings would have maintenance ‘schedules’ and repairs/replacements at about the same time in the out years. Whether predictive or preventive maintenance, it would be required, and cost the taxpayer undetermined dollars as those buildings age. The argument that all our present buildings are old would push this same situation on over to the next generation.
If we were thinking in broader terms — visionary terms — we would ‘’stagger” the building replacements over the next few years. If we would think in terms of staggering the building project, it would become obvious that the magnitude and out-year spending implications could be much less of an impact to us, our kids and grandkids.
Troy has never in its history sought State funding, but built with “local” dollars. Why not fund the project with “local” dollars, and build new schools on a “staggered” replacement schedule?
— Steve Shreffler