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Vote Patla, Suchoski For W-B Area Board

October 30, 2017 GMT

Editor: Perhaps if we talk long enough about the ill-conceived mega-school for Wilkes-Barre Area, everyone will forget about alternatives. If we keep saying we can’t afford three schools, perhaps we will forget the fact that consolidation usually costs more. If we keep talking about a shiny large school, perhaps we will forget that students learn better where enrollment is lower. In constructing “New Coal Field School” we can anticipate multiple studies at the Pagnotti site. We can anticipate a purchase price, the reinforced foundation requirements, installation of infrastructure, access roads, establishing and grooming athletic facilities. We can also expect to do it all again in about 40 years. A new school will not tolerate the nearly systematic negligence that Coughlin, GAR and Meyers have endured. The Meyers and GAR sites have infrastructure, access, beauty, location, require no busing and bolster residential neighborhoods. What’s more, they have an indefinite shelf life once modernized. Their renovation can be systematically staged. Renovation costs, despite the estimate the district received from its high-priced ”team,” are almost always lower than new construction. Just ask the state Department of Education or the Pennsylvania School Board Association, co-sponsors of a pamphlet, “Renovate or Replace.” The board and leadership have been given this information via meetings, letters, and editorials, and have been provided the underlying research, yet they proceed with “Plan B” as obstinately as they pursued the now defunct “Plan A,” and all without a referendum or broad public input. Since the board majority has ignored public sentiment, I would suggest withholding votes for incumbents at the polls, but would vote for Patla and Suchoski for school directors. They understand these issues and are prepared to act. Mark F. Schiowitz WILKES-BARRE