Steve Kaufman: Overcrowded 41 years ago; overcrowded today | SteamboatToday.com

Steve Kaufman: Overcrowded 41 years ago; overcrowded today

In August 1978, Steamboat Springs had one elementary school with an enrollment of 715 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. My oldest daughter attended kindergarten in a modular building on Logan Street, and the street was blocked off at recess time, so the children could have recess in the street.

There were modular buildings at the end of the north wing of the main building housing two classrooms. There was a classroom in the gymnasium and another on the stage. Specials teachers — art, music, P.E. — taught from portable carts going from classroom to classroom. It was bleak. 

Finally, a new elementary school was built and no more overcrowding. But wait. No more than a couple of years later, both elementary schools were again over capacity and remain so today. Things do not seem much different from 40 years ago. I don’t know, is it less bleak today? 

The longer we wait, the worse it gets — more modular buildings, more expensive to build, more expensive to make necessary upgrades. And for those who cite declining enrollment, how many years before our schools are at or below capacity? Don’t our children deserve better?

I urge you to vote “yes” on the upcoming school bond and mill levy issues. And if you are on the fence, visit one of our schools for a day and get a view from the inside before you decide. 

Steve Kaufman

Retired principal, Soda Creek Elementary School


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