To the Editor,

I am writing you to express my opinions and support for the upcoming bond proposal before the voters of School District 10 in Seaside.

Sometimes in life, it seems the time is just right to do something that you might not normally do. I think that the time for the commitment by the citizens of South County is right.

With increased awareness of the seismic event calendar and geologic evidence of prior tsunami activity, it is clear that all the Seaside district schools are at risk – both from severe earthquake damage and the subsequent tsunami. We have enjoyed 300 years without a large quake, but that could end any time.

With the education funding problems in this state, the repeated reduction in school budgets and the age of the district’s buildings, it is estimated that the district needs $30 million just to bring the existing schools up to code and compliance. This will not prepare them for a quake or move them from where they are, just try to maintain the status quo. They are getting obsolete from both structural and educational viewpoints.

Research has found acceptable parcels of land that could be used out of the tsunami zone that can work for the proposed campus. Creating a new structure capable of withstanding an earthquake, protecting the children and staff and still being available for community use and shelter is feasible. The economics of a single campus is compelling for energy costs, transportation costs, maintenance, etc.

The current school district properties have considerable value. They can be sold once the new campus is in place and the proceeds placed in trust for ongoing maintenance of the new campus so future bond issues can be avoided and the property can be appropriately maintained.

Interest rates are near all-times lows. There have really never been better times for the community to borrow and issue the tax-free bonds necessary to complete this. It allows us to do twice as much for the same cost it would have required a few years ago (and probably in the future as rates rise back toward historical norms).

For all these reasons, I believe the time is now. The confluence of conditions may not happen again, but the reality of the problems will not go away.

Hugh Stelson

Seaside

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