Do we really need to spend $ 120 million on a new high school?
The Basic information on Huguenot High School (pictured above)
- Brand New $ 64 million high school completed in 2015
- Located about 100 miles away in Richmond, VA
- 250,000 square feet, Certified LEED Gold
- Serves 1,385 students now, can flex to 1,700 student (we have 850 now, need to plan for 1,500)
- Auditorium with seating for 1,000
- Dining Commons for 500
- 3 court gymnasium with seating for 2,000
- Media Center, Television Studio, Distance Learning Center
- Administration Spaces
- State-of-Art technology, Construction, Architecture
- Field house & Stadium with seating for 3,500 (we already the stadium, maybe use that part of the funding to build an aquatic center or field house)
Take a Closer Look at $ 64 million Huguenot High School
Builder’s (HESS) Information & Photo Gallery on Huguenot High School
The Benefits of spending $ 64 million instead of $ 120 million (referendum plan)
- Cut financial risk to the city by about half
- Potential to save more green space from development
- May not need to bring in 1,000 new apartments
- Helps keep our city affordable for more people
- Less strain on operating budgets (teachers, police, library, maintenance etc.)
- Potential for a community aquatic center or field house
Why a “No” Vote on the Referendum is Needed
Unchecked, we are on a course to spend $ 120 million on a risky scheme that puts our financial destiny in the hands of developers and other forces, like the economy, that we cannot control. Lots of things must go mostly right and mostly according to our complicated plan – for 30 years – to stave off serious financial problems, even ruin. Voting No on the Referendum is the only sure way to stop the perilous scheme.
The establishment (City Council, School Board, Office of Economic Development, School Superintendent, Chamber of Commerce, Falls Church News Press, PTAs…) will tell you to go ahead and vote Yes and that they will look at the $ 64 million Huguenot-type project because voting yes only means they can spend $ 120 million, not that they have to spend that much. But, in the end, they will find some fault with the Huguenot idea, just like they did with past Interim Superintendent Schiller’s sensible $ 60 million plan. (According to Dr. Schiller, his plan was discarded because the Economic Development Office wanted the full 10 acres for development.) If the referendum passes, the establishment will think they have a mandate to go full speed ahead with their $ 120 million project. There will be no second guessing or pause for reconsideration. The people will have spoken in favor of our $ 120 million plan, they will say, and the case is closed.
If there was open-mindedness about our options, they would give us a choice on the referendum between the $ 120 million project and a Huguenot-type project for $ 64 million.
If the establishment wanted to hear about options, they wouldn’t tell us, falsely, we only have two choices: vote Yes for the $ 120 million high school or vote No and get stuck with an absurd $ 70 million patch-job to the old high school.
If the establishment thought we could manage with something less grandiose than their $ 120 million school, the Superintendent would not be tweeting these:
“told SB last night that extensive analysis established there’s no realistic $50-70M GMHS renovation/expansion option” (October 11, 2017)
No, the establishment in Falls Church is determined to get their $ 120 million high school and equally determined to commercially develop 10 acres of green space on that campus. If you vote Yes, you green light that project. You will have to vote No to bring them back to their economic senses. If you vote No, you tell them …
- they must spend our tax money more carefully
- not to encumber us and the next generation with massive debt
- not to pay $ 120 million for a $ 64 million solution
- to develop a reasonable plan and we’ll support it
Vote No on the Referendum to stop the exorbitant $ 120 million school project.