Thursday, October 05, 2006

Superintendent Yager

Superintendent Yager must really be naïve to think that the Blue and Yellow petition drive is about only two things; One or two high schools?

In his letter to the Editor in the News Sentinel Oct. 05, 2006, he wrote;

“The remonstrators have recently changed their focus from a demand for two high schools to encouraging taxpayers to sign for blue to stop the current project recommended by the school board and the community.”

Does he think that there were not other groups who were going to file a remonstrative against the school boards’ voting to renovate Carroll High School? I spoke with numerous people after the vote and got a good feeling that I could easily gather 100 signatures. I was told it would make no difference if I had 5,000 signatures or just 100 signatures. I also learned that another group was gathering signatures. This group turned out to be one that was for two high schools. My group would have just been against expansion until a new long-term plan was developed. There are many reasons for signing the blue petition, not just one.

At the board meeting at which the vote was taken on renovation I asked specific questions as to capacity, cost and long term plan, none of, which were answered.

The Superintendent goes on to write

“Franklin Community High School, located just south of Indianapolis, will soon open a new high school for 1,500 students. Bids for that building were accepted three years ago and the cost is $103 million.”

First off, south of Indianapolis has higher building costs. Second 1,500 students are greater than 1,425 by 5%. But the 1,425 is 85 students more than the designed capacity of the renovation project. This means the Franklin Community High School is 11% larger than the school NACS should be evaluating. If you do not believe me just look at the two schools recently built.

Yager wrote

“The bond issue for Cedar Canyon Elementary was for $17.8 million and the actual bids for brick-and-mortar costs (hard costs) were accepted at $11.8 million. The remaining $6 million is to be used for additional land purchase, soft costs (interest on bond issues, architect fees, underwriting fees, legal fees, etc.), technology enhancements, library purchases, furniture, etc.”

Cedar Canyon Elementary is 92,000 sq. ft. and holds 550 students. The cost per sq. ft (land, soft costs, brick mortar, the whole nine yards is $193.48. Why does their feasibility study use $275 per sq. ft.? Sure a high school is bigger, but it should cost the same per sq. ft.

Still not sure, let us look at the Carroll Middle School for $35 million with stadium, land, parking and about 184,000 sq. ft. This comes out to be $190.22 per sq. ft. Carroll high School has 309,000 sq. ft or 181.76 sq. ft. per student. To rebuild Carroll at the same construction costs as the two recently built schools would be a tad over $50 million.

Here we have two different types of schools elementary at $193.48 per sq. ft (2006) and middle school $190.22 per sq. ft. (2004). Are these two numbers close? If so, would you expect a high school construction cost per sq. ft. to be much different? The roof loading to handle snow, ice and wind is the same for any school. The walls, footer and floor also have to meet identical codes. The construction materials are basically identical for any school being built. Why did the Feasibility Study use $275 per sq. ft. and inflate the sq. ft. per student from 181.76 square feet at Carroll to 250 sq. ft per student at a proposed new school?

"The blue leaders were aware of these expenditures yet now have chosen to accuse the NACS board and administration of misuse of public funds."

"Blue leaders are aware of this plan and have now chosen to accuse the administration of poor planning."

"The blue team leader knew of this addition and enthusiastically expressed his approval for the position but now has chosen to criticize the school corporation."

"The yellow team has been consistent when stating facts, figures, data and research to support the board’s one high school plan. The board’s one-high school plan accomplishes two goals – it provides a superior educational plan for students in grades K-12 and lower taxes for all constituents."

The blue team leader is/was apparently knew a lot about this. Where did they get the information? Why was not the public given the same information? Why when questions were asked at public board meetings were they not answered? NACS wants I am told $10 million for technology upgrades. I am against this because they do not know how to use a simple tool such as posting information for all, not just the blue team leader to see. This is a public education, not a private school. The NACS Feasibility Report has numerous million-dollar errors in it. It lacks the basics for even a poorly written report. If the superintendent wants the public to support his proposal, then educate the public, do not hide the facts. I have read the yellow flyers and find there is no supporting documentation behind their so-called facts. What I have seen is many references to a Feasibility study that is not worth didly.

Does the Superintendent think the taxpayers are blind and stupid?


At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...not worth didly." Ouch!

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yager is very desperate.

He was going door to door in La Cabreah by himself last week. A few people yelled at him, I hear, including myself.

Why can't he just let the taxpayers decide? I can't wait to see a law suit. These clowns will have to deal with it in court. Yellow is full of lies.

At 6:55 AM, Blogger William Larsen said...

It is my belief and opinion that not one board member nor Superintendent Yager read the Feasibility Report in full, in depth nor did the review the report for accuracy. During the petition drive I recorded information presented. Much is wrong. Much came from Superintendent Yager. I expect more from my superintendent and more from my school board. They have a fiduciary responsibility to spend taxpayer money wisely. The date of the Feasibility Study concerns me. The date of the second demographic study concerns me. The numerous errors in the phone survey concern me. The lack of any supporting data for such things as increased attendance and test scores at the Academy concerns me.

I deal with data all day long and have done so for well over 20 years. When you make a statement that the Academy is a success, do not be afraid to show the data, but be proud of it. The problem with most of the comments made is that a few years worth of data proves nothing. What you need is a decade’s worth of data. The data should be by class, school, and historical. For example, when did ISTEP begin? What teachers, administration changes and procedures have occurred over time? All of these can impact students. When people hide the data there normally is a reason for it. What is the reason here? Is it they do not have the data? Is it they have too little data to come to any conclusion?

This is not over. It is not about building another high school or renovation, it is and was about spending our money wisely and performing the tasks for which you are assigned to the best of your ability.

Thinks for your comments.


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