In 2016 voters approved a school construction bond that funds a new gym for Wiley Middle School. Now members of the school board want to change the bond to meet the needs of a yet-to-be funded sports stadium – at the expense of Wiley students.
- The voter-approved bond sets out a construction budget and timeline for a new Wiley gym that provides maximum value to Wiley with minimum disruption to its students.
- Members of the school board have supported shifting the bond schedule to demolish the old Wiley gym in Summer 2019, one year ahead of schedule, to clear the way earlier for a sports stadium that is not yet funded and has not announced a timeline.
- Early demolition of the gym would subject Wiley students to an additional six to twelve months of a construction zone adjacent to their classroom building. During that period, students would be required to navigate the demolition/construction site to access shared gym facilities at Reynolds High.
- Superintendent Emory strongly cautioned board members against imposing this additional disruption and risk on Wiley students. It was noted that the accelerated schedule would also add an estimated $325,000 to the cost of the new gym. Board members approved it anyway.
- There has been no public explanation of why the proposed stadium construction could not wait for the Wiley gym demolition to proceed in keeping with the approved timeline.
- There is no public indication that the stadium project would have full funding in time to benefit from the early gym demolition.
- Architectural drawings for the stadium were paid for by a private group with no obligation to serve the needs of Wiley, the budget priorities of the school system, or the public trust in a bond referendum. The design was approved by a previous school board with no commitment of public funds, no timeline for construction, and no promise it would ever be built. Yet new school board members are trying to increase its chances by putting students in a precarious position.
Don’t let our school board throw Wiley under the bus.