To the editor:
Bulldozers began moving dirt last week at Lawrence High School and the Centennial Virtual School, but city commissioners and school district officials have been bulldozing this community for months with an athletic facilities expansion plan that is fiscally irresponsible, unnecessarily redundant and probably illegal. Our elected officials have misled the public, violated zoning codes and set taxpayers up for a $10.3 million loan that will take 10 years to pay off and cost taxpayers $2.25 million in interest.
Why was the public repeatedly told that this project could be built with leftover bond money when those funds don't even represent a third of the proposed budget?
Why is it necessary to build two separate football stadiums at a cost of $4 million?
Why is it inconceivable to parents that both teams could play in a shared stadium at FSHS? The situation would be no different than it is in swimming, where both schools compete at the Indoor Aquatic Center.
Why are city commissioners allowing the school district to build a stadium for 4,000 spectators at LHS without also requiring the district to provide the 1,300 parking spaces required by city zoning ordinances?
Why did the school district repeatedly assert that the proposed facilities would only disrupt neighbors a few nights a year when it clearly intended to lease the fields for nightly city softball, baseball and soccer games?
We need new leaders with a clear vision, a commitment to fiscal responsibility, and the ability to balance community and educational needs.
Jerry Schultz, Bob Tryanski, Jeanne Klein and 10 other signers,