Another point of view on the Crestview School District

To the editor:

Real Support, but in a Different Direction….

I too am a life long resident of Crestview School District and I have two children that currently attend the school. I also want what’s best for the children of the area, the community and Crestview School District.

However, I disagree with signing a blank check for $43 million and handing it over to an administration which has proven that they are not capable of making fiscally sound decisions. Furthermore, I am disappointed in the lack of transparency regarding the facts surrounding this project. The current school board and the superintendent have put everything that they want us to know on a 3×5 index card and have gone door to door to “sell” the public on this “once in a lifetime opportunity” before it goes away, FOREVER!! Not the case. Please consider the following facts:

— Per the OFCC, there is no time constraints. If the levy fails again, Crestview will be put on a special priority list and will receive the money once we secure funding.

— The $3 million water project is independent of this levy. The mayor of New Waterford secured a 75 percent grant for the project. Crestview is responsible for $750,000 of the project and the waterline is coming regardless of the outcome of the levy vote.

— Matt Manley does not live in Crestview Schools District but he is asking you to fund a project that will impact your lives for 35 years.

— No formal plans have been made and the administration has no idea what it will cost to prep the site for construction. Not one soil sample has been taken, but many promises have been made including that the new building will be attached to the Performing Arts Center, which is an empty promise. The PAC is a fantastic resource for the district but has not been paid off yet.

— Crestview had a quote to repair the roof for $355,000 in March 2017. They decided to fix the track and are now telling us the entire roof needs repaired for $1.7 million.

— Safety grants are available from the Ohio BWC and the Department of Justice to make our current building more secure. Last year the DOJ awarded over $70 million in grant funding for school safety. These grants can be applied for and awarded within the same year to make our schools safer now; not in three to four years after constructing a new building.

— Technology is outdated the minute that it is installed. So, hanging all of our hopes and dreams of improving our children’s education on the purchase of a smart board is, well, not smart.

Many of the pro levy crowd has decided to attack anyone who doesn’t immediately agree with their ideas. Personally, I do not begrudge anyone who is for this levy and I encourage every voter to research school funding on their own.

I believe a 35-year investment deserves more of a conversation than a few “coffee talks” by a person who does not have an engineering degree or a construction background. Our school board wants to blame past administrators, yet many of them were present when the decision to fix a track was put ahead of repairing the roof. If they can’t make the right decision with regards to building repairs, how can we entrust them to manage a $43 million project?

The financial numbers that the administration has put out do not add up for many of us. We’ve all watched as neighboring school districts pass levy’s and build their dream schools, only to come back to the tax payers for additional funding. It is a vicious cycle that puts unnecessary stress on a school district, and ends with emergency levy’s, pay to play sports and staff reduction. If this administration would like to unite the community, start by getting real quotes for repairs from real contractors and then show us all the real numbers. Then we can have a real conversation on what is best for our community.

Derrick Hart,

3625 State Route 7,

New Waterford

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