Robert Ball: Support 3A, 3B, future |

Robert Ball: Support 3A, 3B, future

After living in Steamboat Springs for 15 years but not raising any children here, we were presented with the opportunity to visit the high school with a retired teacher as our host. This was mid afternoon but seemed fairly representative. The traffic was its usual mess at Third and Fish Creek Falls, fortunately not at peak time.

We had the opportunity to visit most of the major areas of the school including the media center, science labs, fine art areas including the art and ceramic rooms as well as the band room and auditorium. We were warmly greeted by all the staff and teachers we met and engaged in frank discussions with many of them. The general response or observation was that many of the facilities were undersized for the current level of technology available for teaching. The gymnasium and auditorium would not hold the current enrollment. It was obvious that the stated future capacity of the high school was not a realistic figure and the space needed for teaching at the current level of technology already had the school at capacity. Adding a few more classrooms would not solve any issues with current classrooms, expansion not a possibility of current areas. This leads to the belief that the only solution to the high school was a new facility.

This was further amplified when talking with a parent yesterday in incidental contact who relayed that her daughter had asked her how she felt about the bond issue. The mother asked the daughter what she thought of the high school and the reply was that it was “crammed.”

The current 3A and 3B bond issue appears to address the needs of every school for space and modernization. Though the evaluation process was done during the span of a year, many complain that it was “too quick.” The issue breaks down to those whose don’t want to raise taxes (no one generally wants to pay more taxes) and those who are obsessed with keeping the high school in its current location. In a one high school town, the city is defined by the quality of its high school for all students, especially those with the greatest needs physically and academically; the location is not the issue. Many other towns can site examples of building on the edge of town and then the town has expanded around that area. We know that west Steamboat is the only area left to grow.

I would urge the community to support 3A and 3B for the long term future of our community. Let us not continue to be known as an “anti-big-box” town and instead be a city with a long term plan for the anticipated growth and desirability of the community for raising families.

Robert Ball

Retired physician

Parent of 14 children

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