The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 27, 2014

FULL TEXT: Downtown Dragons response in high school debate


Many supporters of the new high school seem to be under the impression that new outdoor athletic facilities and a stadium will be constructed with the new school. That is not the case. There is no stadium in the current plan. There are no tennis courts in the current plan.  For the foreseeable future, logistics, travel and supervision to and from athletics activities will actually be made worse by the move to the Newman site. 

Misconception No. 11: “The auditors are warning against large expenditures and instead recommend that the district use any resources to get its operating budget up to the levels projected in its own five-year plan.”

Response: The author said “auditors” in the Jan. 19 column after she referred to the audit report. We concede the error in attribution but stand by this point and note that Dr. DiRocco did not address the other statements drawn from audit reports.

Misconception No. 12: “LASD cut budgets and staff to transfer money to the capital reserve fund for the purpose of funding the new debt.”

Response: In the Jan. 19 column, we never said LASD cut budgets to put money in the capital reserve fund. We said this happened in the same year. Following this, the author noted that LASD continued to put money in capital reserve even though it was not restoring budgets.

Misconception No. 13: “The current site and facility are adequate for the education of children in our community because the teacher is what is important, not the facility.”

Response: We have never said, anywhere, that the current site in its current condition is adequate for education. We said it needs to be improved and expanded - which LASD’s own consultant said could be done for 10 percent less than building at Newman, before factoring in road infrastructure. (Jan 21. column)

The quote from the Middle States Accreditation Report says that the school needs to expand. This is possible in town, according to the feasibility study, which placed 177,000 square feet on the existing site. The feasibility study also noted that having athletics programs in various places puts strains on transportation and supervision. The current plan for Newman only includes a single physical education field.  Separate work is being done now to try to get two other fields into place, but it is taking longer than anticipated. There is apparently no funding available for the other fields for the foreseeable future.  

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