Letter to the Editor: Resident asks for school officials to examine neighboring districts

Mark Trentacoste believes residents should see if the projects proposed in a future Cherry Hill bond referendum are consistent with the upgrades other school districts are doing.

Although I have lived in Cherry Hill for more than 30 years and have visited at least the majority of the schools buildings, I can’t claim any special expertise in evaluating whether my neighbors (and I) accurately weighed the value to our community of the renovations proposed against their costs.

I do believe that it is unfair to our students to ask them to perform in education facilities that are inferior to those in neighboring districts. I don’t know whether the parking and paving proposed are likely to assist the schools’ educational mission enough to justify the cost. I’m not sure that the locker room and/or cafeteria upgrades are all needed to help our students compete for college admissions.

Having spent some time in our schools on warm days I am pretty sure that students do not achieve as much when building temperatures rise toward 90 degrees. If the building control systems proposed are installed to protect students and staff in Marlton or Haddonfield I don’t see why our students shouldn’t be protected too.

For a next referendum, I’d like to know whether the projects being proposed are consistent with what others are doing. Let’s not “gold plate” our schools nor fail to remain competitive.

Mark Trentacoste