A letter to the editor that appeared in the Cap Times:
Dear Editor: As leaders in the Marquette neighborhood, we are extremely disappointed with the discussion of possibly closing Marquette Elementary School.
The Marquette neighborhood is an incredible success story. The economic upswing of this neighborhood has been tied directly to the positive programs being presented at Marquette and Lapham schools.
The $3.5 million addition and improvements made to the O’Keeffe/Marquette complex a few years ago brought incredible stability to this neighborhood. The voters and taxpayers citywide realized the importance of the improvements in keeping families in the downtown area and overwhelmingly approved this expenditure. It would be an egregious slight to abandon this elementary school as throngs of young families have moved into the Marquette neighborhood and greatly improved the housing stock and precipitated a building boom.
It is unprecedented that a diverse neighborhood that could walk in close to 300 students to fill their re-modeled school in a kindergarten through fifth grade configuration would be threatened with closing. It would be beyond belief that a School Board would ask a neighborhood to send five busloads of students to a crowded Lapham building at a cost of $36,000 per bus or $180,000 for the upcoming school year. We support the continuing elementary programs at Marquette and Lapham and keeping O’Keeffe Middle School at its current size.
We realize the school funding dilemma that the whole state faces has led to this situation. We are hoping that these inequities will change and that the option to de-stabilize our community is taken off the table.
6th District alderperson
president,Greater Williamson Area Business Association
director, Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center
Published: March 22, 2007