Opinion

Money will make Seabeck Elementary School go ’round

Seabeck residents: you are giving it the good fight to save your school, but in the end it all comes down to the Benjamins.

A large group of you have worked tirelessly to keep your grasp on Seabeck Elementary School from slipping, but when it comes down to it, money may be your defeat. The Central Kitsap School District Board of Directors will listen to you all day, but unfortunately your words of support are no match for the deafening sounds of “ca-ching.”

With a $113 million backlog of maintenance and repairs for the district’s other facilities, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to figure the board is going to sell the school to the highest bidder. A decision has yet to be made as the board is in the planning process, having just hosted a public hearing to gain insight from the community.

As much as we’d like to see Seabeck Elementary remain in the hands of its neighbors, it’s a catch-22 for the school board. If the district doesn’t sell the school at full market value to help its steadily declining budget, local taxpayers will undoubtedly question why the board isn’t doing everything in its power to push the budget toward a healthy number. On the flip side, if it does sell the school to a private owner with the highest paying figure, the Seabeck community will once again see it as the district taking away its beloved school.

It’s not going to be an easy decision, but with the district’s increasing budget woes easy decisions are quickly becoming memories of the past.

A community center would be ideal for the Seabeck school property and it would help bring neighbors together, but the fact that the money from the sale of the school could be far more beneficial is a large pill for some to swallow. The school board needs to do what’s fiscally sound for the future. Unfortunately for those rooting for Seabeck Elementary, that could mean making the unpopular decision to choose the green.

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