Taking issue with Su | AspenTimes.com

Taking issue with Su

Dear Editor:I don’t often find cause to argue with Su Lum, not because I always agree with her, but because she, among the very few, takes the time to think about her positions before she writes her column. However, in my opinion, her position on the school bond issue (Aspen Times, Oct. 19) is way off base. There is a “thumping urgency” to build it. If the work planning, funding and constructing this building is not started now, when the major pressure for the new space kicks into gear in two years (see the size of second- and third-grade classes), the school district will really be behind the eight ball. Chances are very good that interest rates will be much higher, construction costs certainly won’t be decreasing in the future, money might be much tighter, we will waste a huge amount of money on modular classrooms and what did we gain? Nothing! Today the schools have real needs: light, air, sanitation, security, circulation – these are pressing needs. Add to these the fact that most of the educational specialties (art, music, languages, choir, band, etc.) that make culturally well-rounded students have been displaced by the need for regular classrooms. A new roof for the elementary school, the classrooms that were designed for that building when it was built in the ’90s, upgrades for the District Theatre (that was built by a public-private partnership) – these are real needs that must be met.Su’s line about “keeping up with the frills of the high school” is cute, but it flies in the face of the truth. Su should take a moment to walk through the pod corridors of the elementary school and watch these kids working intently on the computers. These kids are growing up in a wired world, and we should not shortchange them.We pride ourselves on the fact that we have a fine educational system in Aspen. Let’s make sure that we give our teachers a chance to keep up the quality. To blow off this opportunity to save a few tax dollars at a time when the need is so great is penny-wise and pound-foolish. To Su Lum, please reconsider your position and support Referendum 3B.Richie CohenAspen

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