2015-04-17 / Letters

Revised school plan deserves support

To the editor:

When I joined the school board in 2008, my perspective was that of a new Kennebunkport Consolidated School parent simply looking to keep the school open.

After a few months it became abundantly clear that our district’s outstanding academic record masked significant district wide building deficiencies: no sprinkler systems, electrical wires run amok in the ceiling, and rotting, temporary structures at KCS; a sinking wing at Mildred L. Day School; an HVAC system at Kennebunk High School that doesn’t work properly, undersized classrooms, and grossly inadequate stairwells – life safety issues that fortunately have not yet led to disaster. My perspective shifted. I realized that I needed to look beyond the personal needs of my neighborhood school and focus on the greater good of the entire district and all three communities.

For the next seven years district boards, in concert with the public, worked diligently and tirelessly to establish a strategic vision and an appropriate facilities plan to support that long-term strategy. And while state support of local spending continues to shrink, economic adversity doesn’t mean we can shirk our responsibility to adequately and safely educate our community’s children.

The first proposal was soundly defeated, but rarely do public works projects of this magnitude pass on the first attempt. The board listened and has brought forth a plan to rehabilitate the schools for the notto exceed amount of $56.5 million — more than $20 million less than the initial proposal. Long-term rates are rising and each night parents, faculty, and staff lay their heads down thankful that their respective facilities made it through another day without incident.

Anyone living in Kennebunk or Kennebunkport in the 1980s helped pay for my education. Whether here or in your hometown, a community paid for yours. It’s time to do our part. The revised facilities renovation proposal is reasonable, has been thoroughly vetted in countless public meetings, and deserves your support this June.

Norm Archer
Kennebunkport

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