Friday, February 13, 2009

Pondering Misspent Money

L.A.U.S.D. is building an 810-seat campus for 500 students, most of whom will come from outside San Pedro to attend classes.

The average student to teacher/classroom at San Pedro High School typically runs about 40 students per teacher in non-specialized situations.

Today I am estimating that South Region High School will cost $102,000,000 to fully build and furnish. I haven't seen any dollars available to maintain it as a brand new facility, without impacting the maintenance of other schools in the area.

So, lets do some math, O.K.

$102,000,000 divided by the "500" Magnet Program students means the average cost for the campus would be about $204,000.00 per student.

I have no idea, at this time, of the average cost per student at other campuses currently in production and construction.

Well, since the school is being constructed with 30 classrooms and having seats for 810 students, it looks like if all 810 seats have students sitting in them, the new campus would only cost about
$125,925.93 per student to build.

But let's wait a minute, shall we?

Suppose the objective of lowering the student population at S.P.H.S. to pre-2002 levels as approved of by the Board of Education, occurs.

Since the regular, non-physical education classes being conducted at S.P.H.S. have about 40 students per classroom, here is another average that should be presented.

Let's take 40 students per class at S.P.H.S. and move them to the 30 classrooms that will be constructed at SRHS 15.

That would equate to a student population at the new campus to be 1,200 students, if my calculator works well.

It looks like the average cost per student with those numbers would have the new campus built for a mere $85,000.00 per seat.

Oh, but you may wish to hold on to your calculators a bit longer.

Now suppose L.A.U.S.D. decides to build 45 classrooms on the site, like it originally called for in May, 2007.

45 classrooms times 40 students per classroom means that 1,800 students may eventually share the halls and views of the wind turbines.

L.A.U.S.D. has proclaimed they expect enrollment to begin to rise more sharply in about 2017 and thereafter.

It shouldn't matter that L.A.U.S.D. is currently losing students because I think they feel that, "If they build it, they will come."

So, it is only fair to calculate the cost of the campus divided by the 1,800 students that may very well attend school there.

Well by golly, we can now find that each of the 1,800 seats would 'only' cost $56,666.67.

Perhaps if L.A.U.S.D. waits to actually build the 15 classrooms they removed from the approved plan, costs to build those added facilities may be quite a bit higher than costs are now.

In the end, L.A.U.S.D. may very well claim they built an electrically neutral campus. They may also contend that it was built for only $56,667 per student.

But in reality, the California Coastal Commission members are having doubts about the wind turbines.

L.A.U.S.D. is building a campus using the cost of about 204 Thousand Dollars per student.

The majority of the students will come into San Pedro from elsewhere and like so many other attending the main campus of S.P.H.S., they will drive themselves to and from the new campus.

How might if feel in several years when selected students are able to park vehicles on the new campus while 'regular' students attending the main campus, park on the street?

How might it feel to students attending the main campus, compared to how it might feel with students having dignitaries, government and business types, on a world-renowned campus that may become a real hallmark for future school construction.

How might it look when graduates of what will become a place named differently than SRHS 15, offer their diplomas to employers who learn they attended a state of the art campus.

Boy oh boy, when one considers the "haves and the have nots" these days, with regard to the main campus versus the annex campus, it certainly appears that inequality will run amok in San Pedro.

I thought we were all through with that kind of crap!

One high school, two campuses, unequal educational opportunities, in the same community.

Did anyone think we would not take notice?

Ah but wait! If the new campus actually had students from San Pedro, just like Dr. Vladovic originally promised, that could bring a better few of the campus and bring things onto a more level playing field.

If San Pedro residents are going to have to put up with a world acknowledged campus and all the issues around that, shouldn't only San Pedro residents (and the few living in Eastview who still choose to attend L.A.U.S.D. schools) enjoy the notoriety, glamor, and pride that may come their way?

Oh well, we are dealing with L.A.U.S.D.

Nothing has become more clearer in my dealings with that bureaucracy that whatever a community member requests or considers goes in one ear and out the other, so it truly seems.

I do hope they can read better than they wish to listen.

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