Letter: Let’s Build Test Scores Instead of Building New Pool

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It was a surprise to visit the recent school board meeting to see how far it has gone in preparing a study to reconfigure the high school athletic and administrative facilities. After listening to a parade of athletic representatives extoll the greatness of Laguna’s sports programs (with overwhelming redundancy), it was clear they were well prepared to assert their accomplishments. They were given enough time to prepare their hubris. And they should be proud. And they were given time to assert themselves. However, what was missing was the voice of the affected residents who had one day’s notice. After the young athletes are gone, who will still be paying the $200 million dollar bill? Who wants to listen to more excruciating pool and music noise? Who wants to fight more stressful traffic jams? Who wants to have a stroke looking for a vanishing parking space, etc?

This small, expensive town has a shrinking citizenry and a student body whose test scores are sliding downwards. Do we need another pool? A bigger pool? Given our general decline, how many will benefit? We have now become an expensive retirement community. Face it! We have to live within our limitations. There is just so much land. There are some things we just cannot have! It is amazing that the sports teams have done so well, given their current facilities. But, if it isn’t broken, trying to fix it can only make it worse. Let’s take the money and raise our academic scores to get into the much-coveted universities rather than relying on the number of goals. Books are cheaper. And make a richer life.

Gene Cooper, Laguna Beach 

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