I will be voting no on the Ferndale school bond for $125 million. This will be the first time in my 40 years in Ferndale that I have not supported a school issue.
The plan to destroy the fine arts building, including the auditorium, is short sighted at best. This facility was built in 1976 and was planned for 75-100 years. I believe it is unlikely that the district will be able to duplicate the size or quality of this facility because of the very high cost of this kind of building. Likewise, the gymnasium facility is unique in that there are two regulation gym floors back-to-back permitting two games to occur at the same time. Ferndale has been the envy of area schools for many years because of these facilities.
I believe the plan to move the bus maintenance facility to the Mountain View school site is just plain wrong. Mountain View sits among a minimum of 15-17 apartment complexes and the oldest single-family neighborhood in Ferndale. The roads to and from the site are substandard at best and were never designed to have upwards of 50 busses use them twice each day. Has the cost of upgrades for these roads to accommodate the weight of school buses been addressed? A better site in an industrial zone would be more appropriate.
The cost is a major concern. Many struggling families will have additional tax bills of $400-500 per year, some may have to sell their homes.