Lopez Island School Bond proposal | Letter

I am a strong supporter of public education and I support the Lopez Island School Bond proposal.

As your Lopez Island Fire Chief, I and all Lopezians are beneficiaries of the strong community ethic promoted by our Lopez School District. Over 50 percent of the Lopez Fire and EMS volunteers are graduates or current students of our Lopez Island School. In other words, when you dial 911 because you’re having one of the worst days of your life, your volunteers were taught service above self by your school district and are coming to your aid.

I attended several meetings to consider the alternatives being studied by the Lopez School District. In my opinion, Options 1 and 2 were expensive band aids, Option 4, build a new school, put into perspective the cost of a new school versus remodeling and was not a reasonable alternative. I support Option 3; the Comprehensive Whole Campus Renovation. Some of the projects proposed; remodel elementary and secondary classrooms, complete the automatic fire suppression system to protect our kids and the buildings that house them, improve programs in science, culinary arts, farm to school, improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs, campus safety enhancements.

I believe the most cost effective way to accomplish these needs is not piecemeal but comprehensively and I believe that time is now.

As a child, I received an education paid for by others, as an adult I believe it is my responsibility to pay for the education of the generations following me.

The 16.5 million dollar project price tag should not be the reason to vote against this proposal, rather the fact that for the first time in over 70 years we are upgrading the entire campus to serve our island children, should guide us.

Quoting Derek Bok the former President of Harvard University, “If You Think Education is Expensive Try Ignorance.”

Please join me in voting YES for the Lopez Island School Bond and Invest in our children’s future.

Jim Ghiglione

Fire Chief

Lopez Island