Rethink the mega-school solution

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To the editor:

Frequently, smaller is better, and such could be the case if the Suffolk City Council and the School Board would give up on their big idea to build one mega-elementary school to take the place of two small schools in the villages of Whaleyville and Holland.

Robertson in Whaleyville and the burned-down elementary school in Holland are small community schools that served well and built up their communities.

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As it is now, the villages face death or at least zero growth as the powers that be look at building one big elementary school — probably out in the middle of nowhere — where our smallest children will likely face long bus rides or car rides, with parents looping their cars around a horseshoe drive to drop them off and pick them up, which can be dangerous.

Two smaller schools would better serve the children and breathe new life into the villages. Here are three reasons why that is true:

4Installing a satellite sewer package system for each school with added capacity built in would allow for replacement of failing existing septic tanks.

4The two autonomous systems would add new capacity for residential and commercial connections.

4The new sewer systems would grow the tax base with the extra revenue.

We should think more like developers who place schools in the middle of or adjacent to the communities they build. Most people want to have good schools near where they live.

Andrew B. Damiani