To the Sunnyside School Bond Voters:

I am very much in favor of funding Sunnyside Schools to educate our children. My children both graduated from Sunnyside High School, and I have two grandchildren that live in the district.

I feel strongly that we all need to support our public schools. I also believe that our taxpayer dollars should be spent wisely and spent primarily for children’s academic education. The current bond proposal does not do this.

If this bond is passed it will only build an estimated 13 new classrooms, some meeting rooms and a satellite cafeteria. For $14,000,000 that is all we are getting towards our children’s academic education. In addition, 13 classrooms do not sound like nearly enough for an expected enrollment increase of 500 students over the next 5 years.

In addition to being asked to fund an inadequate number of classrooms, we are being asked to fund 150 parking spaces at what appears to be approximately $6,600 per each space. This is based on Outlook School’s cost of 50 parking spaces for $330,000.

We are also being asked to fund a stadium with a capacity of 3,700, astroturf (approximately $1 million cost), an all-weather track (approximately another $1 million) and “other facilities” all for a total of $9 million dollars. There are many ways to address the need for a larger stadium. More bleachers would increase capacity for games. For graduation, rent the SunDome for $5,000 to $6,000. This is what all the Yakima schools, as well as Selah, do. This venue is weatherproof. As far as astroturf, in 2018, no less than 18 pro football teams played on natural grass. The district already owns lawn mowers.

I think if this bond is passed the district will not be using our tax money wisely.

I suggest we vote no on this bond and ask our school board and administration to come back to us with a bond proposal that addresses our students’ true educational needs, like the needed classrooms and the performing arts upgrade.

The district has now $2 million of its own funds for construction. If our high school is overcrowded today, then let’s buy some classrooms right now, with that $2 million and additional state matching funds — not two or three years from now. The district then can get on with providing the top-notch education for our children that we get and expect from our Sunnyside Schools.

Tom Garrison


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