OUR SCHOOLS AND OUR CHILDREN
THE NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL PROPOSAL
WILL GAIN ONLY SIX ADDITIONAL
We can do better. Vote NO on
February 9, 1999.
Our Board of Education faces challenges in the education of
Rutherford,s children. There are complex issue that need to be
addressed. There are classroom needs, state requirements, capacity
issues, parity concerns..... the list is long.
The Board of Education has bought into a simplistic notion
that a Middle School, newly constructed on the Lincoln School
site, is the answer to everything. This solution, while solving
some challenges, doesn't remedy others and creates all new problems
in addition to compromising aspects that are currently real assets
to our educational system-- our neighborhood schools concept
will be a memory.
The proposed Middle School is an inner city-like monstrosity.
There will only be one quarter of an acre (a building lot sized
parcel) of paved area for up to 700 students to recreate outdoors.
There will be inadequate parking. It will only increase the total
number of much needed classrooms by 6 in the entire town. (At 22.7 million dollars that are hardly cost
The proposed structure is too small to accomplish what it
is supposed to do. It cannot be made large because the lot is
too small. The NJ State guidelines for Middle School recommend
20 acres plus an additional acre per hundred students. The Board
of Education is trying to fit this 27 acre square peg into a
2.1 acre round hole. It is located at the extreme southwest corner
of town. As such, it will be a traffic
maker and commuter problem for many affected in the north
and east portion of town. It will be a
public safety concern on narrow residential streets bordering
the proposed site.
It will introduce a piece of inner-city over-development to
what is currently a beautiful neighborhood. It
will radically devalue all the houses in that neighborhood with
its proximity and all of the town's real estate by further ballooning
our already high property taxes.
The Board of Educations plan doesn't solve enough of the problems
to warrant its construction. Ask the board of education and they
will tell you that they will need an additional $5-$10 million
to upgrade the high school and Pierrepont school. They
will take two schools ( Washington and Sylvan School) and decommission
them along with 2.2 acres and facilities. What a waste of existing
assets! And when all day kindergarten and pre-K are implemented
in the foreseeable future count on at least Washington School
being recommissioned at great expense and four year olds being
required to trek to the far north end of town.
The solutions to the problem we face must be addressed and
acquired in an honest and above board manner. Our board of education
should seek to pay for unbiased and professional council that
does not stand to profit by a large capital expenditure. The
question put to them should be how to efficiently remedy our
problems and achieve excellence in the education we provide for
On the contrary, what our board of education did was to ask
Turner Construction, who is the contracted construction manager
and is to be paid a percentage of any resultant construction,
" How do we get the votes to approve a Middle School and
how much money do you think they will agree to spend?" They
also ask the architect to help in their single-minded Middle
School endeavor . They hired consultants to tell them what they
wanted to hear, that traffic wasn't a problem, that this school
can be made to fit an undersized lot, etc.
What an unbiased and honorable professional would be inclined
to report is that while a single Middle School offers some advantages
it can not be implemented at this site in a manner that justified
the endeavor. Especially in the light of more feasible alternatives.
By voting NO to this referendum you are not voting against
the children, their education or the bridge to the new millennium.
You are simply voting down a plan that is woefully inadequate,
not cost effective and that doesn't address the total concerns
in an balanced and equitable manner. A solution that is terribly
flawed is not a solution.
A new referendum will soon follow, potentially one we can
all endorse. Hopefully the Board of Education will better include
and embrace the input of the community and not just academic
elitist with their single-minded Middle School mantra!.
456 Montross Avenue, Rutherford