Shelton School Board Holding Meeting on Facilities & Overcrowding

The Shelton School Board is holding a public meeting to discuss the District’s aging facilities – including the Shelton High School Pool – and overcrowding. The meeting is set for 6:30 PM, Tuesday, March 18 at Oakland Bay Junior High School. The Board would like to hear from all community members on these topics. The following is a news release from Brenda Hirschi, President of the Shelton School Board:

Lately it seems that the funding of public schools is in the news nearly every day. While the District is thankful the voters soundly passed the recent levy, we are facing some tough funding decisions this school year as well as next year.

Today we’d like to address two areas of challenge facing the School Board and Superintendent. Aging facilities require more and more maintenance and upkeep and at the same time we have state mandates without accompanying resources that are resulting in overcrowding in our buildings.

Regarding aging facilities, at this time the district’s swimming pool is in need of major repair as you may have heard. The pool has serious structural degradation in the mechanical room to the extent that the filter pit has been shored up now with aluminum scaffolding for nearly one year.

Winter rain and wind showed us just how badly the Oakland Bay Junior High School roof is leaking. Now we must attend to the roof to protect this valuable asset and to ensure the health and safety of the students and teachers.

At this time we haven’t received cost estimates and a full scoping of the pool and roof repairs, but conservatively we believe the two projects together will cost well above $1 million dollars. The cost estimates should be available within the next couple of weeks.

The overcrowding in our buildings was increased by the addition of all-day kindergarten and the requirement to provide preschool for all children with special needs. Both these initiatives are advancing the learning opportunities for our children and are valuable programs that we heartily support. These programs as well as other changes to improve educational opportunities for our students take space in our already crowded buildings.

The School Board and Superintendent are committed to open and transparent conduct of the district’s business. To this end, on March 18, 630 pm at the Oakland Bay Junior High School, we are holding a public meeting to listen to the community on these two topics: aging facilities and overcrowding of our buildings. We welcome you to attend and provide your comments and recommendations.

Brenda Hirschi
President, Shelton School Board