Letter: Children cannot thrive in chaos

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To The Editor, 

I am a member of the Avon Grove School Board, however the opinions I am expressing in this letter are entirely my own.  There are currently two candidates running for seats on the Avon Grove School Board who have stated that they intend to stop the ongoing project to construct a new HS.

Doing so would have disastrous consequences for our community and our children.  Planning for this construction project began in 2014.  We have been investing tax dollars in the plan since 2015.  Stopping construction of the HS now would throw our community into chaos, and children cannot thrive in chaos.

Avon Grove is a sought-after destination for many families because of our schools.  Just as importantly our schools are a sought- after destination for top educators.  Quality teachers and administrators are now banging at our doors for an opportunity to work in AG.  During the recent search for a new principal at Penn London Elementary, the extensive list of incredibly qualified candidates was astounding.

AG is gaining a reputation for excellence and innovation that is attracting bright new teaching talent, as well as experienced veterans looking for an opportunity to innovate.  All of that will be reversed if this project is stopped.

Stopping the HS project will send the loud and clear message that the AG school board does not support a forward-looking educational plan, that mediocrity is acceptable, and top-notch educational talent will look elsewhere.

Our students will pay the price.  They will remain stuck in over-crowded schools into the foreseeable future.

Even if the candidates who want to stop the project do put forth an alternative plan to solve the district wide over-crowding problem (and so far we’ve seen no plan), who will carry it out?  If this project is stopped, our current architect and construction manager are likely to take the large sums of money owed to them according to the termination clause in their contracts and walk away.

What reputable construction firm will accept a contract with Avon Grove, knowing that in 2 years a newly elected board could easily change course yet again? Families will see the chaos in Avon Grove and walk away.  Talented educators will see the chaos in Avon Grove and walk away.  Contractors will see the chaos in Avon Grove and walk away.

We will all pay a steep price in wasted money, time and resources, but our children will pay the highest price of all because children cannot thrive in chaos.

Let’s not walk away from our children.  On May 21, I am asking you to vote for current board members – Jeff Billig, Tracy Lisi, Herman Engel and Bonnie Wolff – who will see this project to completion with diligence and integrity.

Bill Wood,

West Grove

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