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Renovation doesn’t merit cost

Bradley Wilson, Media Manager

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Over the past couple of years, RB has undertaken a significant construction project that has renovated much of the building. Among the improvements include a new pool, fieldhouse, entrance, classrooms and labs, library, cafeteria, and auditorium. Needless to say it has been quite the renovation process.

The construction process started small and evolved to the point where major construction was going on during school days. The entire project was constructed in different phases to allow school to continue despite the construction. In the summer of 2009, McHugh construction made a big push to finish a majority of the construction. Although the summer construction did end up getting finished, it caused a late start that has put considerable pressure on many class schedules.

When the construction is complete, RB will be pretty much completely renovated. This will be nice for incoming students who get to reap the benefits of the construction. My class has been receiving some benefits from the construction, but has also had to suffer through incredibly loud and distracting construction noises and parts of the building being completely walled off.

This construction project has not come free; RB has spent millions upon millions of dollars in order to improve “the quality of education” at our high school. One of the main questions that arises from that is simple: has this multi million dollar construction project improved the quality of education?

The short answer is no.

Sure, our school has received state of the art facilities that not many other students have the option to take advantage of, but does that really improve the quality of education in the building? If education is something based on quality of facilities then RB’s construction project has strong merit.

However, education isn’t something based on quality of facilities. Having things such as strong teachers are much more important to education than having state of the art facilities. I’m definitely not trying to state that RB doesn’t have strong teachers either, because I have had many wonderful teachers that I feel like I’ve learned a lot from and will probably remember for the rest of my life.

My main complaint with the construction project is that our school, which is essentially the taxpayers of the surrounding communities, has spent millions upon millions of dollars on a construction project that in my opinion hasn’t changed the quality of education at this building. The facilities are state of the art and have been nice to be able to take part in, but even so, I don’t feel like the cost has been merited.

Some of the renovation process has been necessary, in order to accommodate the ever increasing enrollment at our high school. I’m completely supportive of these changes and very happy that our school chose to expand rather than attempt to pack classes with the current space. It’s all the glamorous changes that are my main complaint. While having luxuries are nice, there is a time and place to have them.

I feel like the money used for the construction could have been better spent, or even not spent at all. In a time of economic crisis, is the best option to be improving a school that is completely functional? Even before the construction, RB’s facilities outshined many other schools and we were able to offer programs that other schools couldn’t even think about offering.

It doesn’t make sense how RB can merit spending millions of dollars to improve a building that didn’t need most of the major improvements, especially in troubled economic times. I know that additions to expand class space and a few other additions were necessary, but the question is whether or not all the construction project as a whole merits it’s cost?

The answer is no.

1 Comment

One Response to “Renovation doesn’t merit cost”

  1. Steven Krejcik on May 10th, 2010 1:09 pm

    I completely agree with you. At a time of economic crisis it is highly irresponsible to spend millions on renovations that are unnecessary to the schools purpose.
    It’s nice to have a school that looks good but when the school starts to lose its functionality there is a problem. As schools all over Illinois are taking mass economic hits and being forced to lay off teachers and staff our money should be used for education and education only.
    What really gets to me is we are the ones that pay for this. I pay taxes I think I should have a say in how my money is spent. A schools looks aren’t important. School could be held in a shack if need be. Without quality teachers and staff we have only a multimillion dollar aesthetic school.
    RBHS needs to get back to being a school. The higher-ups are becoming so concerned with how our school looks and where we stand in the ratings and not with what really matters. They need to change or be changed.

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
Renovation doesn’t merit cost