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Woodside school district may put bond measure on spring ballot

Original post made on Aug 7, 2013

As Woodside Elementary School District officials consider asking residents to pass a bond measure next spring for construction, safety and modernization projects, a team of volunteers is going to work to raise funds from private donors in an attempt to whittle down the amount of money the district would seek.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 7:03 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Woodside School neighborh
a resident of Woodside School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Sellman Auditorium was renovated at taxpayer expense only 10 years ago. I certainly hope that if it is torn down and replaced that private donors pay for the project. Web Link
I also hope that the school keeps its neighbors in mind as it plans its renovations, something it has failed to do in the past. A major need is more on-campus parking and night-time lighting needs to be restrained to be more in keeping with the town's limits on lighting.

Posted by A WES Neighbor
a resident of Woodside School
on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:14 am

Fwiw, the 2002 Sellman gym renovation consisting of new wiring, windows, stage lighting and curtain did not use any taxpayer funds whatsoever.

In June 1999 the community passed a $5.2M bond measure (74% support) which added 11 middle school classrooms to the campus. Additionally, private donors affiliated with WES foundation funded a $7.5M capital campaign which built the community gym located in the back of the school which was completed in 2002. The privately raised funds remaining from building the community gym were used to fund the Sellman renovation. Web Link

Posted by Woodside Voter
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Aug 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Interesting - your web link says this about Sellman: "With the gym now complete, Mr. Harter said the funds remaining from the capital campaign will go toward converting Sellman Auditorium into a multi-use performing arts center with upgraded facilities.

"When Sellman is done, [the school] will have two wonderful places to serve its 500-plus students ... for sports activities, school plays, concerts and on rainy days," Mr. Harter said. Other potential uses to be looked into are community theater and adult basketball, he said."
I hope the school does not make the mistake of asking taxpayers to pay for unnecessary frills as it did in 1998 when a bond was defeated.

Posted by A WES Neighbor
a resident of Woodside School
on Aug 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

The failure of the 1998 bond measure failure imho had very little to do with unnecessary frills and everything to do with the school not adequately responding to the concerns of its immediate neighbors regarding their objections to the multi-use gym being built as a multi-floor building which would arguably loom over adjacent properties.

On the other hand, whereas the 1998 bond measure would have provided financing for that gym proposal, the 1999 bond measure removed the community gym from its project list entirely.

As one of those who did appreciates the community gym but did not participate in financing it, I feel a lot of gratitude towards those generous individuals who had the will (and the means) to bring the community gym to completion in a way that was acceptable to those neighbors. While I am grateful for the largesse that got us to this point, I appreciate that it is not really equitable for the burden to fall upon a small group of perhaps a couple of dozen individuals for a facility that will be used by so very many of the community for literally scores of years.

It should perhaps be noted that even with the neighbors circulated petition and strongly worded letters to the editor in 1998 opposing the multi-floor gym, the vote was still a majority in favor and within half a dozen votes of the number that would be needed to pass under today's less stringent criteria.

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