To The Reader's Forum:
In spite of a declining student population, the Bemus Point Board of Education will be asking the taxpayers of the district to approve a multi-million dollar reconfiguration/expansion of the high school. The vote on this Proposition, (Proposition 2), will be held on Dec. 12, 2013.
I have attended the informational meetings regarding this expansion. The Board, the school administration, and certainly the architect are enthusiastic about this project. I think the idea is wrong-headed and I would encourage the right-thinking voters of the district to vote against Proposition 2 on Dec. 12.
When I graduated from Bemus Point in 1962 there were 70 in my graduating class. That same year, there were 111 children enrolled in kindergarten. During my 13 years as a student the district built two new elementary schools and was in the process of building a new high school. These new buildings were needed to accommodate an exploding student population. We were bursting at the seams. There were a lot of us "baby boomers" attending school in Bemus Point.
In 2012 there were 45 kids registered for kindergarten in the Bemus system. The numbers have been steadily declining since the peak population in the early 1970's. One of the two elementary schools has been closed.
This declining student population is a circumstance shared by most of the districts in our area.
The declining numbers have led to consolidation of many high school sports teams including our football team here in Bemus Point. The shrinking numbers are also reflected in some school consolidations.
Building new things is exciting. However, I don't believe we need to increase the size of a building that was designed to accommodate class sizes in excess of 100 per class when there are now approximately 50 kids per class.
For these reasons we should vote to defeat Proposition 2 of the Capitol Improvement Project on Dec. 12.