Looking back, there was no justification for school plan

In the aftermath of the $78 million St. Louis County School District 2142 disastrous project, more and more is being learned.

1) The courts confirmed that the voters were lied to about the financial condition of the school district.

2) There are no cost savings. In fact, it costs more to operate five schools than it previously cost to operate seven schools.

3) The new schools have smaller classrooms, inadequate storage space, and class sizes have increased.

4) Construction was faulty, resulting in leaking roofs, cracked walls, and unusable sports fields, along with water and sewer infrastructure freezing up and at times becoming a health hazard.

5) The construction management, in an effort to avoid massive cost overruns, made millions of dollars in changes while construction was going on to cheapen the material and construction quality. All this was done without the school district’s approval or without informing the district.

JCI made over $11 million on this project. There are rumors that bribes were paid to get the initial support and continued irrational defense of the project. Unfortunately as we look back, there was no justification for the project. However, it continued giving credence to such rumors.

Dennis Peterson

Gheen, Minn.

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2 comments on this item

I know I have said it before but for the life of me I cannot understand how the board could possibly be so misinformed as to make so many wrong decision. I wonder how the cheerleaders (teachers and families) feel about how either they were misled or were the ones misleading. I asked Albertson what he felt after being so supportive of the project but since learning how twisted the numbers are and he said "No sense opposing it now since we will have to pay for it anyway - what's done is done". Probably more realistic is that he would say "whatever is the opposite of what Marshall thinks"!

Jake: That was very noble of you to confront Albertson. He won't change. He made a lot of money off this thing, had a good time with all the attention he received from JCI, Bob Larson and Gary Rantala and the teachers union. In fact, the teachers union gave him one of their yellow t-shirts to wear during the issue.

The board is only as strong as the voters allow it to be. There just weren't enough of us to stand up and challenge them. Most were brave from a safe distance.

Another friend of mine from Greaney said to me that we should write a book. All the things we prognosticated would go wrong are going wrong.

As Neil Diamond once sang "Money talks, it don't sing and dance and it don't walk". Except in this case, the money walked with JCI.

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