Chuck West, Lakebay
I love Evergreen Elementary School. It’s our little jewel in the south end. But it’s bursting at the seams. Built to house 182, we already have 246 students, or 35 percent over capacity. That’s 14 classrooms, six of which are in portables.
Our area isn’t growing as fast as others, but we are still growing steadily. I think others are discovering our secret and, in some cases, our kids are returning to raise our grandkids. Have you noticed all the new houses? I was shocked the other day when I drove around the backside of Palmer Lake and saw all the new houses.
A little history: The original Evergreen was built in 1955, making it the second oldest in the district. There was a modernization in 1988 and the gym addition in 2001, but there are only eight classrooms in the main school and the original school infrastructure was only built to handle the permanent classrooms. Plus, the portables are isolated from the main building.
The district will place a school bond on the February ballot that will fund the replacement of Evergreen in 2021. The new Evergreen will have 18 permanent classrooms, which will eliminate the need for portables. As citizens we will have a chance to weigh in on the design, to include better pick-up and drop-off, security, parking and even a community room. Our local students deserve this. Join me in voting yes for our Key Peninsula kids.
This transcript taken from the original letter published in the Key Peninsula News on January 1, 2019.