I read this letter to the Timberjay today and thought it sounded a lot like our experience in Duluth. A little investigation showed the writer is an retired registered civil engineer who warned St. Louis County that the site selected by JCI could not handle the septic in a rain of over six inches because of the soil content at the nearby creek. I wonder if his projections came true with this month’s record rains?
Here’s his letter:
Looking back, there was no justification for school plan
In the aftermath of the $78 million St. Louis County School District 2142 disastrous project, more and more is being learned.
1) The courts confirmed that the voters were lied to about the financial condition of the school district.
2) There are no cost savings. In fact, it costs more to operate five schools than it previously cost to operate seven schools.
3) The new schools have smaller classrooms, inadequate storage space, and class sizes have increased.
4) Construction was faulty, resulting in leaking roofs, cracked walls, and unusable sports fields, along with water and sewer infrastructure freezing up and at times becoming a health hazard.
5) The construction management, in an effort to avoid massive cost overruns, made millions of dollars in changes while construction was going on to cheapen the material and construction quality. All this was done without the school district’s approval or without informing the district.
JCI made over $11 million on this project. There are rumors that bribes were paid to get the initial support and continued irrational defense of the project. Unfortunately as we look back, there was no justification for the project. However, it continued giving credence to such rumors.
It amazes me the extent to which the Duluth and St. Louis School Boards will go to make sure no one investigates the process whereby both their systems got huge JCI school projects built. So far the school board to our north hasn’t tried to kick any of its curious board members off.