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A deadly, costly site

Posted: July 17, 2010 11:13 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

Narrow, winding roads and inexperienced teenage drivers. An extreme fire zone. Roads so slender a school bus can’t squeeze by fire trucks racing in. Did we mention the unknown landslide complexes? This is the Romero Canyon site where the William S. Hart Union High School District board chose to put a school.

The Hasley/Sloan land is already owned by the award-winning Santa Clarita Valley Facilities Foundation. Already owned.

They are experts at developing schools such as Golden Valley High School. Why pay for something and then not use it? Can we afford to be that extravagant in today’s economy?

The board ignored the reports provided to them by their objective consultants. There may not have been a fatal flaw at either site, but in reconciling the data, Hasley/Sloan was obviously the superior location. Fiscally, environmentally and geologically, the reports plainly highlight more severe issues at the Romero site. Review the reports yourself on the Hart district website.

I would like to ask the independent consultants their opinion on where the school would be the safest and most cost-effective.
Board members ascertained that most issues can be mitigated. It only takes time and money. We have plenty of that right now, don’t we? Just to study the geological feasibility of both sites, there was a vast difference in cost and time which demonstrates the more complex (meaning expensive) environment facing a Romero development. The site still needs additional studies to determine the large unknown landslide complexes found there. Yes, we know that canyons can be sliced and flattened. Just because the capability exists to level a canyon, doesn’t mean we should.

Castaic students did not win on Wednesday night. Romero residents most definitely lost. The only winner was the developer.

This was about real estate and politics, not education.

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