Letter: Richland School Board should learn from past bond projects

March 1, 2013 

Tearing down buildings only 40 years old? Why? The three Richland elementary schools now scheduled to be replaced and the old "Hanford School," as it was once called, were built on the cheap.

An inept administration and a school board wedded to the notion that our schools should be constructed using as little local money as possible had these four schools designed and built.

Federal money spoiled Richland residents. A failed levy further cheapened the construction. At any rate, by the time teachers arrived for the opening of Hanford School in the fall of 1972, we knew we were in trouble. Not one of us in that original staff had had one word in the building design or the layout of the campus.

What's more, we often found ourselves teaching without the most basic instructional material in a plant ill-suited for the district curriculum. In spite of these obstacles, I am proud to say that a very talented staff eventually turned that building into one of the premier high schools in the state.

My hope now is that our present board and administration will build our new schools for the future. The "penny wise, pound foolish" practices of the past should be considered as a cautionary imperative.

JIM CAMPBELL, West Richland

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