Tonight’s Meeting: Schools at Critical Juncture
Local Group to Outline Current State of Schools
Tonight’s meeting at the high school will provide an update regarding the repairs and structural status of local schools, as well as the lasting effects such conditions could have on the Lake County School District (LCSD) if the latest school bond issue isn’t passed by voters this November. The 6:30 p.m. presentation will be hosted by Citizens for Lake County Schools, a local community group focused on supporting local schools. Their mission is to find funding, most likely through a bond for $11.3 million that they will be asking Lake County voters to support on the November 6 ballot.
While repairs to West Park Elementary School have been underway all summer, the funds for this work had to come directly from the district’s budget. The same monies used for text materials, classroom equipment and educational supplies. However, fixing the heating and water pipes at West Park, as well as replacing most of the unit ventilators in classrooms could no longer wait.
The news at the Lake County High School is not any better. Again the issues are structural, more specifically necessary updates to the building’s electrical and water systems. Add to the district’s price tag, the additional costs to remove hazardous materials like lead and asbestos from the 50-year-old building in the process.
This update video provided by the Citizens for Lake County Schools
The good news is that the LCSD has been – again – recommended for two BEST grants. One is for over 15 million dollars for the renovation of the high school and the addition of classrooms. The other is for the repairs to the West Park heating and water systems. These grants are dependent on funds matching at 43% of the total project costs. That’s where the bond issue comes in. If voters pass the bond, the matching monies will be generated from taxpayers. If the district does not find the matching dollars through a bond issue or some other source, these monies will not be available.
The state of local schools isn’t an issue that is going away – unless of course the local community decides that it’s all right for its schools to go away – which is doubtful. Staying informed is critical. The meeting is tonight at 6:30 at the high school. Come, with questions, Come, with solutions. Come, with concerns. But, come!
Little Red Schoolhouse Revives Literacy in “Small” Way
Many times a project doesn’t have to be BIG in order to be effective. Leadville residents Curt and Mary Bender understand that concept and have started Leadville’s 1st Little Library. This unique literacy project is part of the global LittleFreeLibrary.org non-profit, whose mission is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
The Bender’s project is located in front of their home at 215 E 7th Street. “I built this one to mimic the Little Red Schoolhouse, that is south of town”, explains Curt Bender.
The concept of the book exchange is community-oriented in its simplicity. Neighbors, friends and visitors can pick up a “new” read, by leaving one. In a world that is becoming increasingly more digital, it’s nice to maintain that warm feeling of curling up with a good book, gently turning the pages and getting lost in a good story. And now, when finished, sharing the literature for someone else to enjoy!
Everyone – child to adult – is encouraged to participate in this new community literacy project – just in time for Back to School. Thank you Curt and Mary Bender!