Friday, April 16, 2010

Mt. Lebanon High School Renovation Overdue

NOTE: The following article is a letter to the editor written by Mt. Lebanon resident Lisa Wintner.

I completely agree with Heather Charron's comments. ["Crumbling high school detracts from the community," April 8, South].

I am on the other end of the spectrum; my daughter graduated from Mt. Lebanon in 2007. My daughter's dance recitals were held at Upper St. Clair High School and I saw for myself the first-rate school the community built.

By contrast, I always had to remember that if I attended an activity at Mt Lebanon High School -- even in the dead of winter -- I had to wear summer clothes because of the uneven heating in the various aging parts of the building. Receptions were always held in an area called Center Court, which usually felt like an oven. This was also the location for most school dances. I don't know how the kids could stand it.

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Anonymous Bill Lewis said...

Yeah, that modern oh-so-nice HS addition/renovation in USC cost only $38 million some 12 years or so ago (perhaps $70 million today ?).

And oh yes, the LEBO HS complex is in need of serious renovation and improvement....we all agree on that...but not at the rediculous cost estimate of $113 million, or at an average cost of $55,000 per enrolled HS student when other area school renovation/addition costs have averaged only $38,000 per student.

But then again, perhaps you would be more than willing to spend 45% more for renovations to your house than your neighbors or friends paid for comperable work so you could "stand out" as Mr. Kubit allegedly responded in a *high cost* question directed to him in a meeting of the local Republican Committee.

If that is the case, just respect the fact that in the case of the HS, 78% of Lebo households do not have children in the MTLSD system, and the overwhelming majority, excluding you of course, have no desire to "stand out" by having to pay an unnessary premium.

April 16, 2010 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's is no argument that there are major problems in the high school. They absolutely need to be addressed such as the leaking asbestos pipe that reallebo mentions. Why it wasn't fixed is beyond me, but it should be fixed ASAP.
Focus has been and should continue to be educating our children! Mr. Gardner and I agree up to this point, its the teachers, the curriculum and involved parents that made this the stellar district we all enjoy.
Where I split with the board is on the cost of the project.
Currently they are looking at budget cuts and fees. Student parking is just one example. If you charged $25 for each of the 508 parking spots, the district would reap around $12,000. It'll probably cost more than than that to collect the fee. Remember, they tell us each RTK request cost $2,500!
So, while they're looking for peanuts, we might possibly save millions, by investigating the plans of Taylor and the CAC. We had 40 odd days before they could move on the zoning issue. Couldn't we have used that time to investigate the alternatives suggested by building professionals???
Dean Spahr

April 16, 2010 10:45 AM  
Blogger Dave Franklin said...

We've got nothing on Allen High School!

This new $60 million football stadium was part of a larger $120 million bond package passed in May 2009 that included nearly as much money for a state-of-the-art auditorium for performing arts.

April 16, 2010 12:26 PM  
Anonymous John Ewing said...

Dave Franklin I missed something here.
What does a high school in Texas that is building a stadium with 1,000 seats for the band have to do with the Mount Lebanon High School?

April 16, 2010 1:00 PM  
Blogger Charlie Forquer said...

So he high school should be torn down because the heat is uneven?

April 16, 2010 3:08 PM  
Blogger Tess Carter said...

Allen isn't really a surprise to me Dave. :)

I just moved from Texas, and my dad is laughing at this fiasco here in Lebo (not at the tax increase though). A few years back, our district (which is much bigger than Lebo) spent $73 million on what is basically a giant stadium, sports, and events center- not that uncommon in Texas (hs football really is a big deal there). They put up new high schools all the time there and there isn't ever a fuss (they aren't usually coming with the projected tax increases we're looking at though), but it has little to NO bearing towards what we do in Lebo. I can attest to the fact that Lebo is completely different from those districts- enough so not to compare.

That said, I think Dave might have been just pointing out that Lebo wouldn't be the first to spend ridiculous amounts on money on fancy facilities (whether or not it's the right decision).

April 16, 2010 3:25 PM  
Blogger Dave Franklin said...

My intent was not to compare or contrast Mt. Lebanon with Allen. Actually it was intended to be funny. We're all fired up about a potentially huge bill for a whole new campus and a district in Texas spent more than 1/2 that just on a football stadium. Get it? I guess not.

I've said this before . . . unfortunately, some people (on both sides) are so consumed with this debate and being "right" that they have even lost their sense of humor.

April 16, 2010 4:06 PM  
Blogger Joe Polk said...

Everything is bigger in Texas. We don't have any former Texans on the board do we? :)

April 16, 2010 4:54 PM  
Anonymous David Huston said...

I have a sense of humor, but the Budgeted 2010-2011 Real Estate Tax Revenue of $55,455,104, a 15.0% increase over last year, is not funny.
This number was presented by Jan Klein 05-APR-2010. It was not shown on Ed Kubit's Act 34 FAQ.

Still laughing, Mr. Franklin?

April 16, 2010 5:21 PM  

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