Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jordan Districts - "Silver Crest" Elementary School

Finishing touches are still being put on Jordan School District's new elementary school near Snowbird Headquarters, probably even while the school kids watch longingly out the windows.

Needless to say the traffic pattern around the area has been a nightmare for the past year while they constructed the odd school. Why odd you ask... well, for one thing its an elementary school and it's two story. Not common.

And for another, they plunked it down right in the middle of about the only road into Herriman — hard to believe some money didn't line some pockets for that one!

But, the real oddity is the exorbitant price tag! It seems to me as if the entire school board had no more sense than a couple of adolescent newlyweds who think they absolutely can't live without a house and all the furnishings better than their parents.

Looking at it now finished, it's as though the thing had always been there. The playground (completely furnished with ball diamonds and play gizmo's to rival a McDonald's play center) had to cost millions if it cost a nickle! Wrought iron, eight foot if it's an inch, fencing all around the perimeter.

I'm sure over a couple of million dollars worth of established sod was placed to cover an Olympic sized playground. Trees big enough to already be climbed have been scattered around like they.. well... grew on trees. And were left lying on their sides in the road for weeks as if they were candy. Nobody can afford such things - except tax payers.

They put on a COPPER plate roof so it looks "modern" and impressive. I've certainly never been able to afford such extravagance on any house I've owned, but they can spend millions for just the roof! And we call it "silver" crest - right below one of Utah's grand wonders — the open pit "copper" mine.

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

What happened to actually growing grass - isn't that something elementary kids should learn about? Not to mention a little bit of ability for delayed gratification.

No question the building looks spiffy - but, at what cost. There were pickets outside the construction site claiming "Shame on Jordan School district" during the construction. I'm sorry to say that I never stopped long enough to hear what they were unhappy about.

If the issue was anywhere near the blatant wasteful extravagance and conspicuous consumption of the building - then they have my support. Too bad more of us didn't stop. We may have been able to prevent such an untimely "bailout" of somebodies pocket!

I've yet to go ask for a tour and find the elevator's... or maybe even escalators. And wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a "food court" and "atrium."

Learn A Little More

If you think our little ones must have state-of-the-art playgrounds and two-story, copper clad multi-stoned buildings to learn and succeed watch this!

After identifying a paralytic disease induced by hunger in Africa, doctor Hans Rosling now looks at the bigger picture and tries to get the world to do the same.

Showing his fascinating data-bubble software to the US State Department this summer, he burst myths about the developing world. Especially about China and the post-bailout world. Where are the "real" developing countries?


Brandon said...

Nice rant.

Out of the $687 million Utah received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Department of Education received $312 million. Congress mandated that the money be spent with in 90 to 180 days. While the planning of the school to be two stories had to occur long ago, opulent upgrades could have been made on the fly to satisfy the demands of ARRA. In this scenario, your point that the copper roof and giant sodded field were over the top points to general problem of mandating the money be spent quickly. Namely, it may not have a good use.

Dr J said...

Brandon... I accept your comment but reject part of your thesis. I'm impressed that someone residing at least a zillion miles away knows Utah statistics.

You seem to be saying that acting irresponsibly is alright as long as someone isn't setting the rules exactly as you would like.

The point is NOT that someone (anyone) mandated they use it by a certain date. It IS rather that same adolescent thinking that "If I can't use it now then I'll waste it before I let my brother have it!" With all the mountain of problems in the Utah school system - if we don't have one soul with the integrety and gumption to stay late one evening or brainstorm an appropriate use for taxpayers money then we don't deserve the money (and would explain a lot about the troubles were in.)

Waste and extravagance is inappropriate (at very least) no matter how you package it - no rant, just fact!

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