Letter: Wake Up, Laguna!

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Wake up, Laguna! The LBUSD is proposing significant expansion and construction at the high school campus; $88 million in construction costs plus unspecified “soft costs” are expected to total $150 million.

This construction expense includes two new pools – one of which is 50 meters – in place of the current tennis courts ($20 million), resulting in the tennis courts being relocated to the roof of a new multi-level parking structure ($15 million), district offices demo’d, moved and expanded with new ocean view office for the superintendent ($20 million), high school admin building demo’d, expanded and replaced ($15 million), plus other odds and ends, less than 10% of the expense has anything to do with academic improvements for the students.

In the meantime, high school enrollment will decline 22% from 2017 to 2025, according to the district’s own projections.

High school test scores are on the decline. No studies have been conducted on traffic, noise, congestion, views, lighting, or any other neighborhood impacts.

And no plan on how to finance all this – watch your wallets! Big tax increase, anyone?

Less than 10% of high school students participate in swimming competitions or water polo. Having said that, many in the community also use the pool, which could stand to be replaced or improved. But we do not need an aquatics center on the same scale as surrounding communities with resident and school populations literally 10 times that of Laguna.

I hope that those at the school district will make this planning process more transparent, focused on the academic needs of the students, and responsible to the community and taxpayers. So far, it has been anything but.

Richard Plavetich, Laguna Beach

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