Meeting Time: January 23, 2018 at 7:00pm EST
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Agenda Item

7.f. Discussion regarding the construction of a second high school

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    Paul Mabrey 9 months ago

    We need city council to support a second high school to open in 2021. Sure, it will raise property taxes by a small margin, but I am willing to pay it. As a city resident, I know property values will increase, businesses will move here, and Harrisonburg will be stronger when we education our children in a suitable environment.

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    Alison Sandman 9 months ago

    We are very lucky to be one of the few communities that is growing instead of shrinking. But that means we need to grow responsibly— creating infrastructure that we need for a thriving growing city. The high school is severely overcrowded, and we need a new school, sooner rather than later. Waiting and thinking won’t bring a more perfect solution; we just need to make a decision so that we can grow without losing the welcoming feeling that has helped us grow and thrive. We can do this.

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    Rebecca Deloney 9 months ago

    I can't even imagine 300-400+ more students in HHS. I would say a building in which neglect has led to overcrowding is also a message that the people inside the building are unimportant.This has to do with paying more money later versus less money now, but it is also about safety, health, and access to education (classes needed to graduate). Do not delay construction.

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    Timothy Howley 9 months ago

    It is time for our city leaders to step up and do what is right for our city, our children and our future. Please vote for a new high school at tomorrow's meeting.

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    Kimberly Bolyard 9 months ago

    Let's vote YES to a second high school now! The current high school is overcrowded, uncomfortable, and unsafe for students and for teachers. Closets have been turned into classrooms and offices and we have classes in trailers in the parking lot. Let's keep our students and teachers SAFE by building a second high school. All of our city's students deserve a great high school education.

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    Markita MaddenPuckett 9 months ago

    As the parent of a 6th grader at Skyline Middle School, I strongly support a second high school. Overcrowding is a great concern and creates an environment that limits students and creates challenges they should not have to juggle in order to learn. Our cocommunity continues and will continue to grow so a decision delayed is a decision denied. The greatest cost here is the one being paid by our children.

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    Julie Way 9 months ago

    No more delay - Harrisonburg teachers and students deserve a safe educational environment. This is a tough call for council, and I get that, but kicking the can down the road will only lead to further overcrowding problems. Please support the new high school based on the extensive research that has been done on all of the options. For more on what options have already been investigated, see the webpage

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    Barbara Reisner 9 months ago

    This isn't a conversation about if we need a new HS. A second HS is overdue. We need to get this done because there are other school projects looming. The youngest grades are the biggest grades. Harrisonburg is growing! The 5 year CIP includes an elementary school. Three ES are near or over capacity. SKMS will be at capacity in two years; THMS isn't far behind. We need to think about new schools at all grades. Build a second HS now so we are prepared to deal with growth in the younger grades.

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    Jennifer Madison 9 months ago

    I strongly support building a new high school. It is the best long term solution to the overcrowding. Our students, teachers, and staff deserve a more productive environment and access to the excellent programs Harrisonburg offers. Building a new high school will help ensure this. Improving our schools improves our local economy.

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    EC Smith 9 months ago

    It is very clear to anyone paying attention that a second high school is needed. You cannot possibly expect a city of our size with the number of elementary and middle schools we have to feed into only one high school. At this point I can't believe anyone could sleep for thinking about the dangers of having that many kids crammed into that school. There's been plenty of time to review the number and the new school should be built as soon as possible for the safety and education of our children.

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    Lelia Hedrick 9 months ago

    I support building another high school AS SOON as possible. Please do NOT DELAY this action any further.

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    Matt Hassman 9 months ago

    It’s not a matter of if, but when we build a new high school, and the time is now. On top of that, the idea that we should build the cheapest structure possible is short sighted. If Harrisonburg wants to attract new residents that can contribute to our community by strengthening the tax base, those people aren’t going to want to put their children into a school system that thinks it’s cool to pack students in cinder block boxes and trailers.

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    Heidi Pennington 9 months ago

    I strongly support building HHS2 as proposed by the School Board. Please vote to build now! A 2021 opening is hardly soon enough; please do not delay the decision or the construction any further. As a homeowner I am more than happy to pay increased property taxes to ensure a solid education and sufficient facilities for ALL Harrisonburg students. Well-educated students make for a stronger community for everyone. Please build HHS2 now for our future!

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    Erin Bishop 9 months ago

    Please act now and vote to fund a second high school. Our city obviously needs the facility, and the school board has done a commendable job in being patient, transparent, and thorough in its actions to arrive at this request. We must have safe and adequate facilities for our students. Growth cannot continue unchecked, and if a more competitive tax rate results in slower or more thoughtful development of our city, we all stand to benefit. Please vote, and please vote YES.

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    Candace Orenic 9 months ago

    As a Harrisonburg resident and mother of children attending Smithland elementary I support building a second high school. As it is I’m concerned for their safety in attending an overcrowded high school. I’m concerned about lost opportunities in arts, sports and clubs. I’m concerned about an impersonal experience because of large classroom sizes. I see the value of building a second high school for our diverse growing community. I am willing to pay the raised taxes. Please vote YES!

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    Kristen Ephraim 9 months ago

    Please act now and vote YES this Tuesday to move forward with construction on a second high school. As a mother of four children, two of whom are in HCPS, I worry about the effects of a further delay on their future, not to mention the children of my friends and neighbors who already know what overcrowding looks like. As a homeowner, I will gladly pay the extra money in taxes to invest in my community. Put our children first and show us that you value their safety, education, and future!

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    Marcella OBrien 9 months ago

    I’m concerned about the safety of the students at HHS.Harrisonburg can afford to do this, and still be able to fix sewer and water lines and adequately run the rest of the city. If there are places to cut costs, Council needs to look at ALL the projects in the CIP when prioritizing funds. Parking lots and interchanges aren’t more important than our students and our schools. Council must act immediately so the project can be completed for the 2021-2022 school year. Please vote ‘YES’ to fund HHS2.

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    Yasmeen Shorish 9 months ago

    Doing the right thing for the community is sometimes hard and costly. We all will have to carry some of this financial responsibility and that is a hard thing to ask and, for some of us, a hard thing to do. But to continue to de-prioritize the education & safety of the children of this community is unconscionable. A commitment to the community means that you are occasionally called upon to demonstrate that commitment. Vote to build the second high school on Tues. There have been enough delays.

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    Brooke Chao 9 months ago

    The numbers, the studies, the facts have been in for some time. You’ve asked for additional time, and you’ve had it. It’s time to do the right thing. Any further delay will only result in (at least) another additional year till the crisis is solved and increased construction and interest costs. The time to act is now. Vote yes for the second high school.

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    Andi Arndt 9 months ago

    Building of a second high school should've happened four years ago. Instead, best case scenario shows it happening 3.5 years from now. No reductions, no delays. I would rather see delay / reduction on proposed parking deck replacements than wait one more year for this overcrowding crisis to be resolved. What are the costs of more trailers and higher project rates due to inflation? Lost tax revenue as people decide not to move here or to move away? Costs to our KIDS? C'mon, do the right thing.

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    Kala Melchiori 9 months ago

    Please vote now to approve the building of a new high school in Harrisonburg. Our children deserve it, overcrowding is a serious problem that needs fixed ASAP.

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    Adrienne Hooker 9 months ago

    I've been watching and listening to this issue since last year. I went to the space committee open house. I attended the joint sessions between School Board and City Council. And now I've researched, listened, and discussed the topic every week since October. The last Council meeting has shown this is politics as usual. Break the cycle! Do what's right. Prioritize public education. Vote 'YES' now instead of repeating past mistakes. Our city can afford it. Our community demands it!

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    Cathy Copeland 9 months ago

    It is time to vote YES to building a new high school to be finished in time for the 2021-2022 school year. I can talk knowledgeably about all aspects of the debt ratio, the tax increase, the financial hurdles, and, although those are important, they have all been settled by experts. Harrisonburg can afford it. Instead, I'll focus on the students. They deserve to be educated in a space that fits. Harrisonburg cannot remain the Friendly City if we do not educate the younger generation properly.