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My Board Vote Could Be Third One to Make Alpine High School a Reality

Jim Stieringer: “I’m not swayed by argument that new school would be too costly to operate.”

To the editor:

The putative investigation by the Grand Jury would not be a topic for discussion if 2012 weren’t an election year. We would ordinarily wait for a government announcement before weighing in on the issue. The best interest of the district is the common bond that unites the current board members and the four challengers.

The decision to build (or not build) the twelfth high school (Alpine/Blossom Valley) will be made by the survivors of Tuesday’s election and the three holdover trustees. Under the right circumstances, I could be the third vote to make the school a reality.

I’m not swayed by the argument that the new school would be too costly to operate. My understanding is that the district spends about $6,000 per student per school year.

Assuming an enrollment of 800 students, the operating cost would be around $5 million per year. Those expenses are roughly the same whether the 800 students are enrolled at Granite Hills, Steele Canyon or at a new facility closer to their homes.

The voters have already agreed to pay for the new school with general obligation bonds. The construction cost would not come from general revenues.

My advice: Let’s all take a deep breath. Let’s not allow a straw issue to cloud a campaign that should be waged strictly on the real issues.

Jim Stieringer
Candidate for Election to the Governing Board
Grossmont Union High School District

Jeff Hernandez November 04, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Jim - I am troubled by the fact that you do not see that there would be a significant increase in costs incurred by the district with a new facility. Construction costs alone would be covered by the bond (see Poway School District.) All the remaining costs will continue to increase. Additional staff including a new principal and administrative staff at the very least and probably a few additional teachers. Maintenance staff and costs. Utility costs to run and operate a facility of that size are enormous. So the costs for each student does indeed go up significantly.
Bill A. Weaver November 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Gary Woods; you were vocal in 2008... where are you in 2012? What is your response? None? A $20 million site investment... people booted ff this property by eminent domain, construction costs at historical lows... a waiting list of new ADA funded students are in the wings, yet they aren't going to go forward. Why? More lies? Or is in existence, there any substance to the spin, which you'd wish to share... just rhetoric? Gary, where are you?
Bill A. Weaver November 04, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Jeff, The are over 500 new students in the wings waiting to go to this new HS campus... almost $3 million in new revenue... the staffing costs for the 12th HS is 90% of the OPEX, they would simply transfer from existing campuses, these are not new or added costs to the district. The "turn on the lights" fixed costs are only about $1.5 M... the new $3 M would cover this, and more... There is no downside... care to comment?
Jeff Hernandez November 04, 2012 at 08:42 PM
I'm neither for or against the new school itself. I definitely see benefits to it. But to think there are no additional costs to operating a new facility of this size is naive and foolish. If this were the case, then why not have 50 schools in the district? It would be the same cost as just operating one huge one right?
Kathy November 05, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I for one feel Alpine is LONG over due for a High School. The population is growing in Alpine or the surrounding area and to think there is NO High School in Alpine really is unacceptable. What is a Parent to do, once their child reaches High School Grades? Is it realistic to expect a children to travel 15 miles one way to school? I would not allow my child to travel that far to school everyday. What about the risk of accidents, especially during bad weather. Is it responsible for parents to risk their child's life just to be educated? Should Alpine ONLY be for Seniors, Families with no children under the age of 18 or Families to only remain in Alpine till their children reach High School age? I am SICK of hearing our Government State and Federal threatening to reduce funds for Educating our Children. If the Government would STOP WASTING money on over paid PENSION PLANS or other expenditures, then we could afford to PROPERLY Educate our Child without a Major Inconvenience to Parents and their Children. Hum, I remember when the Lottery first began, we were told it would fund ALL of OUR EDUCATION needs. What a pathetic JOKE! There more money Tax Payers give the Government, the MORE they will WASTE. When do we start forcing our GOVERNMENT accountable for their SPENDING?
Bill A. Weaver November 05, 2012 at 05:59 PM
By the district numbers, it will cost ~$1.5 million over the costs of teaches and staff, which is a net "0" change, because they already exist based on enrollments at existing campuses. Yes, there may be a minute increase, but the increased predicted new and returning student revenues will offset this completely, and leave a surplus. Naive and foolish is not following through with a project that is on the books by a vote of the people. This is the only project of Prop H and U that is a money maker.
Bill Weaver November 07, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Congratulations to our re-elected GUHSD top vote getting incumbent Priscilla Schreiber, and our very welcome new Board Trustee Jim Stieringer!

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