EDITORIAL: District has right idea for bond

By Observer editorial October 21, 2013 11:36 am

There is no definite decision anywhere in the near future, but the preliminary steps by the Cove School Board to review whether a bond levy is necessary for capital construction and maintenance upgrades is a good first step.

Clearly, in an economically-strapped area such as Eastern Oregon, any decision regarding a school bond must be pondered carefully.

But at some point in time, evident and essential improvements to school facilities are a key piece of overall infrastructure advancement for any city or county.

Last Tuesday night, the board received a list of key upgrade elements from district staff, a move Cove School District Superintendent Bruce Neil labeled a “starting point for
discussion.”

One of the items earmarked for needed improvement is the floor of the district’s old gym. The floor currently boasts nails that jut out from its surface. That’s hardly a satisfactory piece of infrastructure for a school district.

Other items that need improvements include: adding air conditioning at the elementary school; extending the concrete base in the cellar area under the gym; money for a high school commons area; new playground equipment and a remodel of the district cafeteria.

Neil was correct regarding the fact that the list delivered to the school board is simply a starting point for further discussions. Yet it is an important dialogue now because aging infrastructure — like bad news — does not improve over time.

Building a platform of dialogue with a common goal — to improve aging school facilities — is a excellent idea. Planning for the future is always a good move, and a future where students must endure substandard facilities is not really much of a future at all.