When I began attending the meetings of the Muldown School Task Force I was of the opinion that remodeling Muldown’s existing structure would be the most responsible option for Whitefish. However, as I listened and seriously considered all the options my opinion began to change. I learned a lot at those meetings: about the life expectancy of buildings, about replacement costs of seriously outdated equipment, about occupancy issues, about safety concerns, and about changing philosophies regarding educational spaces. I also learned about the amazing way our staff has managed, mitigated, and maintained Muldown Elementary School under unfortunately (but naturally) deteriorating conditions. It became apparent to me that a remodel was not the best option. Remodeling addresses few of the critical issues at Muldown, comes with a $14.4-million-dollar price tag, and simply kicks the proverbial can down the road. That’s a road, by the way, where costs will increase exponentially.
I was fortunate enough to attend school in Whitefish when Lloyd Muldown was irrefutably and passionately in charge. Under his guidance Muldown Elementary School and the educational philosophy behind it was achieved. I don’t believe that Mr. Muldown would say “OK. Now we’re done.” Education evolves. We all benefit from unapologetically insisting on high educational standards – providing every child with the opportunity for a quality education, from the subjects they study to the environment they learn in. A new Muldown Elementary School will allow for efficiencies that are unattainable with the existing structure – economic, educational, safety and beyond.
Whitefish has a long and proud history of support for education – assuring the best opportunities for each new generation. I hope you will join me in voting YES for Muldown.
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