Letter to the Editor: Why build a new school in Chesterfield?

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By David Southall

Why a new school? In a hasty decision the school board recently approved building a new school in the western part of Chesterfield. They used bad data in their presentation and disclosed it later, making me think these type of decisions seem to be the new norm with our school board.

Related: Chesterfield school board approves building new school while being under the impression of false data

There seems to be a continued lack of transparency in decisions that cost the community a great deal of money. Had there been a decent amount of deliberation and decision-making with the community going into this decision of spending another $36 million, the community and school board might have not misread the quietly updated data. Rushing the decision to spend for the sake of the developer vs. the best interest of the community is not acceptable.

The Board of Supervisors must step in and nullify any decision made by the school board to move forward with construction. There should be a new school board meeting with community involvement that includes the correct numbers for elementary school children, not simply school age children. This school is proposed solely to relieve three other schools from possible overpopulation versus what we have at other schools which are already over their max capacity.

The school board is already under a great deal of scrutiny due to the armed Mentor proposal, I believe that they should reconsider building this school and look into other ways to relieve the other schools in our community.

As the owner of a door and hardware company, I am aware of many alternatives to making a school much more secure than having an armed guard. I believe the schools should look into some of these alternatives to upgrade our security systems and locking mechanisms. There are several grants available for doing such upgrades and with the money saved from not building an additional School at Magnolia green the school board could allocate funds into upgrading security at existing schools and finding better solutions for overpopulation.

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