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Letters to the Editor

School facilities

September 24, 2008

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To the editor:

I want to thank USD 497 Operations and Facility Planning Director Tom Bracciano for all the hard work he has put into making use of the extraordinary windfall in facilities improvement monies earned from the South Junior High project. It was through his efforts that the district benefited from having the contractor not only meet the high standards for remodeling both SJHS and Broken Arrow, but also to do this under cost.

It is to his credit that the long-overdue and much-needed field facilities for Lawrence High School can finally (finally!!) be addressed, not only to the benefit of the fragile single-family neighborhoods nearby, but also to the seven property owners whose homes are directly adjacent to under-utilized LHS fields.

As one of the founding members of the Centennial Neighborhood Association, and someone who lives close by LHS, I applaud and cheer the improvements that have been 12 years in the making and will allow this central-city high school and all of the feeder schools nearby to not only survive, but to flourish for many decades to come.

Thank you, Mr. Bracciano, and to the school board members who have supported him.

Deborah Snyder,
Lawrence

Comments

TJ_in_Lawrence 5 years, 6 months ago

Love the plan. I believe it will increase the value of the neighborhood and bring healthy activity and vibrancy to the area. My kids go to LHS and are not athletes, yet I can see the advantage of having on-site fields and facilities. I echo the writer's thoughts, Tom B. has done a great job of putting this plan together.

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JackRipper 5 years, 6 months ago

"Case in point, basketball starters on a 2001 USD 497 team that went to State had a combined 3.9 GPA and all have or are about to achieve a masters in college. They were exceptional athletes and even better students.A significant expenditure, after years of neglect, is not indicative of favoring sports over academics."So how many people were on that illustrious team Hepburn? How many are in the school general population? How many didn't have to worry about getting a job or were not capable of that level of skill? Why were they able to function so well without the additional above and beyond price tag for the sports facilities that is claimed to be needed now? Why does it sound more like "field envy" of cities around here that are larger and don't happen to have collegiate level fields available? Why does it sound like it isn't based on developing skills and instead claiming the facilities are more important? Didn't KU do alright last year BEFORE the new facilities?! If those fields aren't available how does that prove anything about the values supposedly learned by sports? Why does it sound more like a concern of parents who want their kids to get scholarships (small percentage of the entire school body) that we all have to pay for? That is all fine and dandy if that is what they want but why does it sound a lot like the current bail out for people who think everybody else should contribute to their personal goals?

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 6 months ago

saoirseglen says "...Yes, I forgot that athletics are more important than academics as a matter of course. How silly of me."Yes, how silly of you because athletics has a positive impact on academics. If you knew anything about the team GPA and subsequent collegiate academic success of local athletes, you'd realize that athletes out perform the general student population academically. Case in point, basketball starters on a 2001 USD 497 team that went to State had a combined 3.9 GPA and all have or are about to achieve a masters in college. They were exceptional athletes and even better students.A significant expenditure, after years of neglect, is not indicative of favoring sports over academics.

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JackRipper 5 years, 6 months ago

Ah yes saoirseglen, remember they were cutting programs, cutting band, cutting all kind of things so where did all this money come from? The bond issues didn't address their chronic poverty status that I recall.

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Jackson 5 years, 6 months ago

Debra Snyder lives two (2) blocks from the proposed LHS football stadium, and would be unaffected sports events, noise, lights , trash, and street parking problems.Furthermore, she has only lived in the neighborhood for 20 or 30 years, is not on the Centennial Neighborhood Steering Committee, and has no authority as "spokesperson" for Centennial Neighborhood.In fact, she is likely in a group of one (1) area residents who support the proposed LHS sports "fiasco".

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 6 months ago

I thought Debroah live in the area north of 19th. But these pesky neighborhood groups are made up of neighbors, so it be, that live else where in town. Only in Lawrence is a neighborh someone who lives a 1/2 mile away.KU is just going to love the improved LHS facilities 20 years from now!

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saoirseglen 5 years, 6 months ago

I would not use the word fragile to describe the neighborhood I live in. Nor would I say that the fields across the street from my home are underutilized.While my home is nothing fancy, unlike the homes in west Lawrence, at least it is affordable and easily maintained by a homeowner.As for the field across the street, I see people using it regularly for dogs, children and even practices. It makes for a very basic nature space in an otherwise totally developed area.I just don't buy where the money is coming from for the project, especially when it wasn't that long ago, within the last year, that the district was asking for approval to obtain more funding for teacher salaries. Yes, I forgot that athletics are more important than academics as a matter of course. How silly of me.

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spiderman 5 years, 6 months ago

others do object to misallocation of funds from buildings to athletic fields.why is 100% of the savings going to athletic fields?a very reasonable question is it not?

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spiderman 5 years, 6 months ago

yeah, she lives 'close by' - not the same as those 7 homes.the proposed football stadium is 310 feet long, 25 feet high, 35 ft @ the press box, and only 75 feet away.not the same thing as over one block away from the stadium now is it?

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JackRipper 5 years, 6 months ago

Help me out here but the money saved that should go to paying off the building we voted for being replaced (thought for the future, don't vote for something from people who have problems telling the truth) was $2million. From what I've been hearing the cost of this project will be between $7-14million. Has Mr Bracciano invested this money so that it will return that much before the project begins? That is extraordinary and he is the man who should be Fed chairman in that case!

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mom_of_three 5 years, 6 months ago

she said she is a founding member of the centennial organization, so perhaps she does.

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Jackson 5 years, 6 months ago

I'll bet Debra Snyder does not live near LHS.

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