To the editor,
I had the unique opportunity to join the strategic planning process among community citizens who met over the past year to review the status of Mineola school facilities. It was an eye-opener. Since the last of my four daughters graduated from MISD 20 years ago, my association with MISD had become limited. Joyce and I moved to Mineola 50 years ago at a time when the oldest campus buildings were dedicated. I was shocked to see the wear and tear that a half century can apply to structures. Our group witnessed students making do with the limited and aging multi-purpose building and vocational training in outdated and un-environmental out-buildings. It was punctuated by one elementary school teacher stating “there is some kind of smell in the walls” of the current 50 year old elementary school.
We saw safety issues. Students were walking between buildings and sometimes through wooded trails.
Our work included reviewing reports in terms of current school standards, revealing that most classrooms were running over students-per-classroom guidelines. MISD has been receiving some less than average ratings.
Our group was thrilled to see the proposed plan by professional consultants. Their campus layout answered all concerns. It included a new proposed boulevard roadway running from the loop and winding back to Patton Street, easing traffic from those roadways. It answered the safety issues. And the much discussed fine arts and vocational training needs are addressed.
Finally, we heard bond rates are scheduled to go higher later this year. Construction costs are increasing. Waiting later would be more costly. We learned that the same project a decade ago was half the current estimated costs. Waiting to later dates would only escalate costs.
To me, it’s Mineola’s time. In every direction, schools are moving forward to upgrade the most important asset of any community – its schools and the future citizens they develop. I was honored to be a part of this process to review and share the dreams with fellow citizens. I am Mineola Proud.