Editorial: District Spends Thousands of Dollars on New Marquee

Laura Caine | Sports Editor

Photo Credit: Monica Baucke

For the Livermore High School 125th anniversary, the LHS PTSA decided that the perfect gift for this would be a spanking new marquee to go right outside the school, where no one looks. Apparently, the gift of 125 years is LED and uselessness.

According to Monica Baucke, the PTSA president, “The new marquee was funded by the School District who used funds which were approved by voters on the June ballot passing a Facilities Bond Measure.” The money could have gone to more pertinent issues our school is facing, instead of to a superficial replacement of something fully functional. Rather than a new marquee, efforts to fix the constant leaks in the ceilings of any room, textbooks to replace ones falling apart from years of use that are outdated, or signs of wear prevalent throughout our school would have been a better way to use the money given to us.

The original marquee was installed in 2006, and has had the motherboard replaced a few times. The school later found out that the parts needed were no longer manufactured. Despite this, using more than $30,000 to build a new marquee, complete with “high quality LED lights, a larger screen, and the capability to feature video in full color,” according to Baucke, is largely unnecessary, especially when funded entirely by the district. The PTSA intended to fundraise $30,000, and created GoFundMe account to begin this, raising a total of $700 in this manner, only to find out that the district was able to fully fund the project.

The district decided to spend a considerable amount of money on a shiny, LED box that the rare person will actually pay attention to. Most people looking for information on school events or news will go to the school’s website, instead of going out of their way to drive by the sign and trying to read the flashing memos, as they nearly crash their car.

Had the PTSA funded the project, the waste of money wouldn’t be as ridiculous, but with the money coming straight from the district, it’s easy to raise an eyebrow at what their priorities are. Getting an elaborate and aesthetic focused addition to the outside of the school while many problems constantly arise in the school shows a lack of attention to matters that are relevant. Many teachers deal with lack of supplies like dry erase markers, and the school could have hired more janitors to aid the already stretched staff.

Although I see that a new marquee was needed, I don’t see the logic of funding such an intricate design when there are so many other problems throughout LHS, let alone the entire district. The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District needs to prioritize the real problems in the district, instead of giving the illusion that the school is high-tech and well-funded on Google Maps and the school website.

Header Credit: Monica Baucke

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