New Davie High Plan Finally Gets It Right

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 28, 2013

I’m for it — this new Davie High School project.
It’s needed. We can afford it despite some grumbling. It’s in the best interest of the people of Davie County, our children and our future.
I’m for it because we mercifully need to end this protracted nightmare of indecision about the future of our high school. It has divided us and stained our reputation. Young parents question whether to raise their children in a county that doesn’t take care of its schools. Enough is enough.
I’m for it because the Davie County Board of Education finally has its act together. Make no mistake: Many of the reasons for past failures have been spineless decision-making and poor leadership. From hiding a superintendent’s drunken driving arrest to scrambling to hire bulldozers before voters caught up with them, we’ve seen it all. That climate has pleasantly changed. Recent boards have shown a prudence that engenders confidence. Superintendent Dr. Darrin Hartness has demonstrated a quiet competence that we have sorely needed. No longer are the Davie schools operated on a crisis-a-day basis. Dr. Hartness knows what he’s doing. This time, the right players are on the team.
I’m for it even though it will hardly benefit me or mine directly. My clan is nearly grown. Elizabeth and I have no grandchildren here. Eighth grader Michael, if I figure correctly, might squeeze in his senior year at the new school if there are no hitches in construction. Past generations, however, built schools for me. The generational obligation now falls to me to help pay for others. Indirectly, the school will benefit me plenty. A new school will polish Davie County’s apple. It will be a modern, bright facility designed for learning and safety in a new century. It will help attract new industry and new homes. It will help boost property values by making this a more desirable place. Some argue the existing Davie High “isn’t so bad.” Truth is, it is an embarrassment. We can — and must — do better.
I’m for it even though the proposed location is a few miles off center. In a perfect world, the county commissioners would work with the board of education to secure land smack-dab in the center of the county so nobody could cry foul. The Farmington Road location, close to Interstate 40, is better than the existing campus with its traffic nightmares. In this hostile climate, however, some will use the location as a wedge. The school board is forced to use the land it has. Location is not a deal-breaker.
I’m for it because building a new campus is the responsible option. Some advocate a cheaper model — improving the existing school. Rehabilitation is not so cheap. A remodeled school would still have the same traffic problems and lack of acreage. Students would have to attempt to learn in the middle of a major work zone.
I’m for it even though it’s expensive. Voters rejected two …