Butler County Board of Education facing tough decisions

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 16, 2006

Conundrum. It's what Butler County School officials are facing as the Board of Education and Superintendent Mike Looney attempt to move forward with a comprehensive school facility improvement plan that will cost anywhere from $20 to $28 million. Thousands of questions lay ahead for board members before the first spade of dirt is overturned on any building project meant to improve the educational environment of Butler County's students.

One thing's for certain: Barring Bill Gates descending from his Microsoft kingdom to bequeath a small fortune on the Butler County School System, construction - or even the finances for said construction - will not come overnight. It will come in steps, small steps.

On the table are several options. Options which include a new school in Georgiana combining both enrollments at R.L. Austin Elementary and Georgiana High School; a football stadium and athletic complex at Greenville High School; millions of dollars in renovations to each school in the system.

The positive thing is that the members of the Board of Education are not taking these decisions lightly. And they've welcomed input, suggestions and criticism from the public, not just those in administrative positions, but parents, students and teachers in the Butler County School System. It will take the efforts of the community, the school system and city and county government working together in order to move school construction from dream to reality.

Because another option on the table - making no decision whatsoever about the facility crisis facing school administrators - is really no option at all.