Friday, February 18, 2011

Good times, bad times: Valley High getting $26 mil. makeover

First, the good/great news: JCPS is going ahead with plans for a $26 million "upgrade" at Valley High School. You can read about the details HERE. Still undecided is the question of renovation versus new construction.

Tax dollars spent on projects like these not only benefit the students and the neighborhood, but also benefit local workers and local businesses that cater to them as the project moves along.

In Kentucky, there are prevailing wage laws and rules that allow for Project Labor Agreements (PLA's) which require contractors to use a certain percentage of local workers. That's important, as many of our skilled trades workers are laid off or "on the bench", as they say.

Which leads us to the bad news.

There is a movement underway to undermine any Project Labor Agreements that may come before the the Jefferson County Board of Education. In this case, intimidation is the chosen tactic. You can read all the sorry and sordid details of that mess by clicking HERE.

Here we are in 2011, still trying to convince people that employing local workers on local projects is a good business and economic policy. Unbelievably, there are those that still swear by the practice of using out-of-town workers while our own are drawing unemployment benefits. The main driver for that behavior is greed, and if greed wins, greed will ruin us all.

If you have a moment today, it wouldn't hurt to contact your school board representative and let them know you want the Valley High School project to move forward with a strong PLA that guarantees employment for Louisville workers.


  1. This project has been long over due for the southwest community.Let us hope the best qualified and highest trained and local workers are on the job. Support the PLA and the local union workers to complete the construction of this project.This helps keep the wages earned in the local economy and pay the local taxes.

  2. Why are we pumping $26M into a failing school for things like a gym and auditorium?!?! The school can't even keep the kids in the classroom - as we've often found them attempting to cut through our nearby property.

    If anything, this money should be used for new books, teacher incentives for after-hour tutoring, etc. Pumping money into these unnecessary capital projects is like flushing our tax dollars down the toilet.

  3. Have you been inside that place recently? You can't whine about "crumbling schools" and be against this project. If you bothered to read the story, you would see it's more than a new gym.

    The decision here is simple. Get on board, or get the hell out of the way. And stop crying about your taxes. If you aren't willing to pay taxes so children can be educated what are you willing to pay for? Let me guess....something that benefits you personally?

    Valley Station is like America: Love it or leave it.

    And pay your taxes.

  4. If the parents who live near Valley want a "neighborhood school" they can be proud of sending their kids to, then renovation is an obvious idea. You can't want neighborhood schools and oppose fixing the schools in your neighborhood.

  5. Of course I read the article. And, as I pointed out, the first two projects mentioned are a new gym and auditorium. I didn't even discuss the courtyard they plan to add - another project that won't add value to the education for students. You tell me how that directly impacts students' ACT scores? How will the fancy courtyard prepare them for college? It's a waste of money.

    I don't accept your straw man argument. I am indeed willing to pay taxes for kids to be educated; which is why I indicated the money would be better spent on educational items. Sure, there is some mention in the article of making room for new classrooms in existing space; however, any half-educated person could conclude the major expense items would be the construction of two new buildings.

    "Love it or leave it" - very grown up. Not sure I expected anything different from this site. Never mind having a serious, adult conversation about possible alternatives.

  6. I don't engage in serious, adult conversation with anonymous commenters. Grow a pair and stamp your name to something, then we can talk.

    For everyone else: Recently, Iroquois High School received some much-needed renovations. Rain water was dripping from the ceilings into the classrooms and the place was a dump. That is a distraction. Was that a waste of money?

    A student's surroundings have a very real impact on learning. So does the aspect of losing students to other schools through "school choice".

    Kids that are forced to attend school in a badly maintained facility like Valley while their neighbor gets to go to Butler or Male usually develop attitude problems. There are many reasons why schools fail, and our here in Louisville is one of our own making. Construction of new facilities certainly won't cure all that ails at Valley, but it sure as hell won't hurt.

    You can't be for better schools and be against better facilities for kids.