Weekly Feature

2017-12-07 / Editorials

Maryvale capital project deserves approval

Bee Editorial

School capital projects can be sources of fierce debate and hard feelings, with district officials and boards of education often forced to forgo one group’s wishes in favor of another’s. Similarly, projects that don’t have an immediate impact on a voter’s family can leave some questioning the need.

It’s easy to imagine some school voters saying, “Why should my tax dollars help pay for a new soccer field when my child who’s in band isn’t getting a new auditorium?” Or, heck, even, “Why should I care about the project if I don’t even have a student in the district?” Those are real concerns, and ones that competent, community focused districts take care to consider.

Maryvale is one of those districts. Board representatives and school administrators have ensured the proposed capital project is student- and community-focused, as well as fiscally responsible. Voters should feel confident in approving the upgrades.

A majority of this approximately $24.3 million capital project would address areas of concern flagged in a 2015 building conditions survey. In fact, the construction would handle all items rated critical or poor by the report. Work to be done would include roofing repairs across Maryvale’s buildings, replacing the intermediate-middle school’s original boilers and installing air conditioning throughout the district. These repairs, while not sexy, show a commitment to the district’s infrastructure.

The upgrades that do go to athletics would improve the facility quality and benefit athletes. Installing turf infields at the baseball and softball diamonds, and a new turf multipurpose field for soccer, track and field, and football would help athletes who participate in all those sports compete on the same level as their peers in other districts. Additionally, the turf would improve drainage, resulting in fewer weather-related cancelations. Further, the proposed fifth tennis court would mean the teams could hold all their matches at the same time, rather than making the participants of one match wait for an open court.

All of this brings us to the biggest question most voters have when they’re asked, “Yea or nay?” on a capital project: How much more is this going to cost me?

In this case, nothing.

By working with auditors, financial consultants and the architects, district officials have ensured the project’s scope would not increase taxes on residents.

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