Letter to the Editor: Measure A gets an ‘A’ for smart planning

Dear Editor,

Property owners in Visalia Unified School District have the opportunity to vote for good planning and a bright future for our kids when they vote in the November election.

One question I’ve heard frequently concerns the planned new high school and it is simply “why now?” The answer is basic economics. The community is growing, and the longer we wait to build a new high school the more it will cost. The smart thing to do is build now, as part of the new campus, instead of scrambling later.

I have personally experienced the challenge of build now or build later. When Golden West High School was constructed, there wasn’t funding for a traditional pool, but our students needed a pool as part of a complete athletics program. So, we bid on an aluminum warm-up pool that had been used during the Los Angeles Olympics. We were the successful bidder and the students used it for a number of years until it began to leak and the school district had to build a permanent pool. At the time, the temporary pool was the direction we had to go, but as time passed, construction costs increased.

There is no question that building a comprehensive high school will make the best financial sense in the long run.

People have also asked about Measure E, the bond that Visalians supported in 2012. The funds from this bond made improvements to older schools possible, built the new building at Redwood High School, made our new middle school possible and delivered cost-saving solar panels. VUSD’s Board of Trustees and staff have done an excellent job with Measure E and they have proven to be good stewards of taxpayer money.

I invested many years into VUSD, working with a great team of people. I am pleased to see the hard work continuing and I encourage you to vote yes on Measure A. We all benefit from strong schools, whether we have school-age children or not.

Bob Line
Retired VUSD Superintendent of Schools, 1979-1992

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