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Public hearing for middle school consolidation

By SHANNON WATKINS

shannon@southwesttimes.com

There will be a public hearing regarding the consolidation of Dublin and Pulaski middle schools on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Pulaski County High School’s Little Theater.

The meeting, like the one before it, is to obtain community feedback on going forward with the consolidation of the middle schools, recommended by the OWPR architecture and engineering firm. The school board hired the firm to perform a study of the two middle schools, along with Dublin Elementary, to see if the buildings, several years past their expected life spans, should be repaired or replaced.

After deliberation, school administration decided consolidating the middle schools was the best course of action at the August school board meeting. The public is invited to weigh in at the September 19 hearing.

 

 

Comments

comments

18 Responses to Public hearing for middle school consolidation

  1. Pulaski Mom

    September 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Let’s just stop with the meetings and get to the planning. Our children deserve a new school. My children will not benefit from this but our county sure would. If we had state of the art schools in our community, possibly we could snag more jobs and maybe our school population would rise.

    • PMSDAD

      September 13, 2013 at 12:43 am

      How does building a new school contribute to more students? Business do not locate to counties based off of the school. They are looking for these best deal they can secure so actually spending 50 million on a new school would actually limit our ability financially to attract new businesses. Buildings do not educate students, teachers educate students. Increase teacher pay, reward teachers who continue their education,cut some of the fat and red tape at the school board renovate and perform preventive maintenance and all the problems would be taken care of.

      • Pulaski Mom

        September 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        Have you noticed how the population of Pulaski County has dropped? You are absolutely correct that buildings do not teach our children and I am always on board for our teachers to earn more money! But, it has been said more than once that the issue is that preventative maintenance was not done, the question is what are we going to do about it?

        • PMSDAD

          September 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm

          I think we should repair (which has been done) the gyms, install some sort of hvac or ceiling fans. Then put a real timetable on building a new school…say 15 years. This way finances can be budgeted so these expenses can be accumulated from revenue as opposed to raising tax every time someone cries wolf. My heart ache comes from issues where they deem a school outdated and do not want to spend money to upgrade (Northwood, Riverlawn, Claremont, etc) so a new school is built but the old school magically get renovated for a private school or academy. I think the powers that be just give the worst case scenario to scare people into the tax and spend mode this county runs on, instead of making sound business decisions. Look at Wythe County, their schools are as old as ours and they seem to be doing just fine.

  2. parent in pulaski county

    September 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I think they just need to get to it. I have a child in second grade in a school in Pulaski. I am not from here but I can see that when the kids get to the high school one of the problems is having to deal with mixing kids from two middle schools who for some reason have been taught that they are rivals. We should be teaching them from Kindergarten that they are all Pulaski County Cougars one county one school together. Combing the middle schools would eliminate a lot of issues.

    • PMSDAD

      September 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      They are friendly rivals. This statement is not true. Once kids enter PCHS, they are all Cougars. One thing you need to think of wishing for consolidation, one middle school means one team per sport. One teams means fewer players and less opportunities for kids to develop. It has always been a benefit to have two feeder schools into the high school. We are one of the last to have this benefit, so if this happens, expect big heartache when kids tryout for sports. In the end, high school teams will suffer in this aspect.

  3. Pulaski, mom, wife, daughter, sister

    September 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    New school, air condition in the schools, new teachers get rid of all the old perverted ones. Kids should be allowed to carry book bags. Iam 22. When I went to Pulaski middle school it was hell everything was hell. Now my sister has started 6th grade this year and all I could say was I feel so sorry for you, but stay strong cuz they tell you that they’re prepping u for high school when really high school is actually easier and you don’t do half the things they tell you your gonna do when your in middle school.

  4. Tony Hampton

    September 12, 2013 at 12:13 am

    I agree with Pulaski Mom 100%, those studies are just a waste of time. There is both Dublin & Pulaski Middle Schools inhabiting dangerous asbestos as well as mold. There are even steel beams placed on each end of the school preventing the buildings from caving in.

    Right now, is the perfect time to build a new school with a lower interest rate.

  5. PMSDAD

    September 12, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Totally disagree because of the costs involved. There has been no financial planning over the past 30 plus years to build a new school. So if they do this they will have to issue a bond referendum to raise funds then turn around and raise the taxes on the homeowners. No tax increase for renters, for they do not own the property therefore no taxes owed. We citizens cannot afford to continue to carry this burden of another new school funded from raising taxes. If a new school is needed, start saving now, cut some huge payrolls from the school board, and show some savings that will come from reduction of workforce by consolidation and synergies.

    • Pulaski Mom

      September 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      and where do you suggest that our children go to school once the schools are deemed unsafe to continue using? The problem was created many years ago, but now it is time to suck it up and think of the children of Pulaski County. I am a firm believer that good schools equal better employment. We can not change the fact that the ones making decisions long ago did not consider this. I am a home owner who pays taxes also and I am sick and tired of the reputation of school system has because of lack of common sense 30 years ago. We all need to think about the future of our county. It is just that simple.

  6. Billy J

    September 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    No one has deemed the middle schools to be unsafe. Why is it that we seem to have to build a new school every 25-30 years when the school systems of Europe are still using buildings that are hundreds of years old? I don’t have a problem with raising my property taxes to pay for needed infrastructure, roads, bridges, etc., but it seems that education is just this massive black hole that sucks money out of every corner of the budget. Our population and school enrollment is declining, but our education budget never seems to decline at all, even a penny.

  7. NOT YET

    September 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    No the buildings have not been deemed unsafe YET! my mother who will be 76 years old went to Pulaski Middle School when it was opened as an elementary school and then proceeded to graduate there once they built on the gym and auditorium and made it Pulaski High School. The core of the building doesn’t have any structural damage (that we have been made aware of) but the additions do. Maybe that just shows that the construction of the additions were not done as well as the original building. They have the recommendations and they need to follow through with them since they paid the money for the survey. Poor leadership decisions of the past caused this problem, are we just going to let it continue?

    • PMSDAD

      September 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Start the planning now….lets say in 15 years we build a school. Start budgeting for this, saving some money, do it in phases, keep as much work in house as possible. I am not against it at all, but let’s do it from smart, sound business decisions. Making harsh, irrational, and emotional decisions end up costing us taxpayers more than we should have to burden.

  8. Mom of 3

    September 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I have subbed in these middles schools and personally see Dublin in better condition than Pulaski. The building itself and the atmosphere of PMS in general makes me want to transfer my kids when they hit 6th grade. It’s not good, I do think it needs to be in planning stages more than just conversation but not hitting our pockets all at one time. Something does need to be done I do think if these buildings are deemed unsafe at some point they should be removed instead of leaving them for others to fix up and use. Otherwise that just shows it was indeed possible to continue use and the county chose the easy route. I say remodel like one would do their own homes. If the core of these buildings are fine….fix the additions….you don’t move because a lightbulb breaks…change the bulb.

  9. PMS, PCHS Mom

    September 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Having moved to Pulaski from out-of-state, I experienced first-hand the polite suggestions to avoid settling in the county because of the poor academic quality of the schools. Although I have not been disappointed by my choice to relocate to Pulaski, I do believe that there is room for improvement. Our schools, particularly the middle schools, are not equipped to handle the number of students they serve, nor the technology needed to teach effectively in the 21st century. Classrooms do not have adequate electrical outlets or space for computers and other needed equipment. It is essential that today’s students are exposed to technology from elementary school on in order to be ready for college or the workforce. Nor have these schools been constructed to account for the safety concerns that our teachers and students now face. The parking situation at PMS is beyond inadequate for events, making parent involvement in after-school meetings and activities challenging at best. Outdoor space for physical education, recreation and sports practices are extremely limited. Attracting the best teachers involves providing them with the tools to do great things in an environment that supports learning. And, I would argue that, while schools may not directly influence jobs, they are a significant factor in where people choose to live. To attract businesses, a strong infrastructure that supports families, including access to high-quality education is essential, not secondary. Yes, the price tag is high, and moving forward with any plan should include a careful analysis of the cost of project. However, the value to the community and our children cannot be be quantified by simply reviewing dollars and cents.

    • Anonymous

      September 24, 2013 at 11:53 am

      PMS, PCHS Mom…My husband and I totally agree with your post. Your thoughts and words not only express a vision of what is needed to prepare and move forward our children into a fast growing world, but also creates a vision of what we can do together as a community to make a difference individually and collectively. We need to look forward and see why we can, not why we can not… The best investment we can ever make is in our children. We can do this…

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