Nine Mile Falls School District

Superintendent's Message 


        
Superintendent Brian Talbott
 
 Brian L. Talbott 
March 2015
 
Dear Neighbors,  

On behalf of the Nine Mile Falls School District, I wish to thank you and the community at large for your support in passing the district’s maintenance and operations levy. The 65% approval ensures that the district will be able to maintain current programmatic levels. Our students, staff, and schools will benefit greatly from your support and generosity for the next three years. Thank you!

You are likely aware that the bond proposition failed to garner the 60% supermajority necessary to pass. The fact that the LHS bond secured 53% approval was encouraging as it demonstrated that more than half of those who voted were in support of the proposal. Upon learning of the bond defeat, the Board of Directors hosted several community forums to discuss and determine the next steps in the bond process. After considering all of the community input, the Directors held a Special Board meeting on Monday, March 9th and unanimously approved the resolution to run the bond proposal again on the April 28th, 2015, election. Your ballot will arrive at your mailing address around the 8th of April. 

The main priorities for the proposal to create a new building remain unchanged. The ability to provide a safe and secure building and campus for our students and staff is the first priority of this project. At the time that Lakeside High School was constructed (1990), we were living in a different world; the footprint of the current building resembles a timeframe when security was not as much of an issue. When considering school safety, we often go to the worst case scenario as history has provided us with many, unfortunate school tragedies. However, the current LHS footprint creates the daily difficulty of monitoring both students and visitors as the central office’s location is far removed and concealed from the main entrance. Other security risks include a multitude of entrances, minimal and blocked site lines, and hallway and classroom configurations that are irregularly and oddly shaped. The new plans also have two separate vehicle entrances, one for bus traffic only and the other for staff, students, and parents. This separation will be easier to monitor and will greatly decrease congestion and potential safety concerns. Our best defense is that of vigilance; unfortunately, the current facility and campus do not lend well to this endeavor. 

The proposal also includes the addition of a two-story classroom wing with science, technology, engineering and mathematic labs, as well as adaptable classrooms to accommodate multiple programs and student learning needs. Improvements would bring new performing arts and music areas, a remodeled cafeteria and commons, expanded gymnasium space and enhanced activity/athletic fields. At twenty-five years old, the infrastructure of the energy systems are tired and very costly to maintain. This bond proposal will provide upgrades to outdated and inefficient systems. The plans also include the opportunity to improve and enhance community use of the facilities. At this time, opportunities are limited due to the saturation of facility use within the school system. We hope to increase our community partnership through expanded use of our schools.     

Additional determining factors to put the proposal back out to our voters included: current low interest rates; competitive construction costs in the region; and the $9.5 million dollars of state matching funds that the district is currently eligible to receive if the bond passes in April. The need to reconstruct the high school is not going to go away; in all likelihood the costs will only escalate the longer the needed and necessary improvements go unaddressed. Through careful and thoughtful consideration, the Board of Directors has determined that the time is now.  

Further bond information can be found on the district website at www.9mile.org.  If you would like to discuss the bond measure, please contact me at 340-4303 or at my email address btalbott@9mile.org.  Lastly, I would like to invite you tour the building on Saturday, April 4th and/or Saturday, April 11th, anytime between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  Bring the family by and tour the current facility, learn more about the building proposal, talk with staff members, and enjoy a light lunch.   If these dates do not work into your schedule, please call us and we will set up a time that works better for you. 

 
Warm Regards,
Brian L. Talbott, Superintendent
 
 

Last Modified on Monday at 7:13 PM