Critics of the South Portland High School bond are ignoring the cost of doing nothing. The sum of $56 million is what it costs to overhaul a building that the city has neglected for decades. The figure sounds large, but divvied up over all our residences and businesses, it is manageable.

If we don’t pass the bond, we will spend more in the long run. We’ll be forced to make stop-gap repairs on a crumbling building that is not worth sinking more money into. Problems at the school will compound and get more expensive to repair. Piecemeal projects will cost more without the benefits

of a cohesive school design. The architects estimate an additional $1 million-$2 million cost per year that we wait to renovate.

No one else is going to pay for a new high school. The state is not coming to our rescue. The state is not even taking applications for new major capital improvement projects. In 2005, there were 66 applications for state funds and only 13 were approved for partial funding. Many schools in Maine

are also in dire need of repair, but they are not located in a growing city like South Portland, with a strong business tax base.

Critics of the plan have many complaints, but they don’t have the solutions. The Secondary Schools Facilities Committee developed the solution – it took them three years of hard work. Please vote yes for the high school. It is money well spent.

Marie M. Cross

South Portland

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