Dear Editor: In his reply to my recent letter to Kirkland Views, Dr. Kimball agreed that money is already available to provide housing for increasing enrollment. He confirmed that funds earmarked to complete phase 2 of the “modernization” program could be redirected to meet the district’s need for more space through a public hearing process. Dr. Kimball also stated that I asked the district to use funds from the capital projects program to meet their need for more space. This allegation is untrue. I clearly proposed that bond money set aside to complete phase 2 of the “modernization” program would be better spent to mitigate the housing shortage and for sorely needed improvements to other schools throughout the district. Dr. Kimball indicated in a previous letter that $600 million dollars has been spent over the last several years to tear down and replace all but one of 21 schools in this “modernization” program. The useful life of these substantially sound buildings could have been extended instead for many decades at a fraction of the cost by remodeling. They could also at the same time have been thoroughly upgraded for current educational needs. The extra hundreds of millions of dollars spent to replace these schools could have provided sorely needed capital improvements for many other schools in the district to keep them more up-to-date. Dr. Kimball indicates that the district intends to continue this “modernization” policy for 8 more schools over the next four years. Some of the money set aside for this could still be redirected to alleviate the housing problem. Instead, the district has chosen to ask for an extra $65.4 million dollars to deal with this long known issue.
More on Dr. Kimball’s response after Christmas.