We love that it's baseball season, but we hope Prosser doesn't end up with a third strike in its efforts to build a new high school.
The proposal has failed twice with voters already -- as recently as last month -- but defeat at the polls doesn't change the fact that a new high school is desperately needed.
Fortunately for Prosser's kids, school officials are unwilling to give up. They're putting a slightly modified version of the bond measure for the new school on the April ballot.
With the narrow defeat in February by just 3 percent, officials are hopeful that a bit more education for the public and some reinforcement from an independent analysis will get the job done.
The district decided it was time to do its own homework and find out why there hasn't been strong enough support among voters to get the project approved. Officials say they've listened to public concerns and addressed them in the bond that will appear on the April 26 ballot.
The district found that concerned citizens wanted to know if there was any fat that could be trimmed from the proposed design. So the school hired a Seattle firm that specializes in estimating how much a school construction project will cost. The firm deemed the price tag to be reasonable after comparing Prosser's plans with other school projects around the state.
The costs for new schools and other big construction projects dropped during this recession and aren't bouncing back. That allowed the architects for the project to shave $2 million off the original estimate. If prices continue this slow climb, there could be further cost savings.
And that brought up another concern. What would be done with any money leftover if the project comes in under budget? Districts spending surplus bond money on projects other than what voters intended have raised ire with some folks, even if the fine print in the bond measure allowed the shift.
In Prosser, the message was clear that voters didn't want any surplus spent for work on other schools in the district. So the language was rewritten to apply any leftover money to help pay off the bond debt and lower property taxes.
Prosser is a prime example of a community with an active voice. Folks there aren't shy at public hearings and are happy to share their opinions.
The school district knew that it needed the public's input to get this bond approved, so it sought the community's advice. Officials listened to the concerns and addressed them with the bond that will be on the next ballot.
All they need is 3 percent more folks to vote in favor of the bond to provide the community with a much-needed new high school. We hope those who were wary of the bond and tax increase feel that they have been heard -- and listened to -- by district officials.
Some folks always will be against any kind of tax. But it's clear to us that the majority of Prosser voters already are in favor of a new high school, with 57 percent voting "yes" in February.
The district has made a good-faith effort to hear its voters and tackle their concerns. And that will surely bring that last 3 percent they need to vote "yes" in April.