(Juneau Empire File)

Letter: Considering consolidating high schools into TMHS, making JDHS the new City Hall

The CBJ offices have outlived their lifespan and been in disrepair for a long time. The CBJ offices tour that was offered on Wednesday showed that in spades. I believe the new CBJ building proposed for the Whittier Street location, however, may be an unnecessarily expensive solution.

According to news reports, school enrollment in Juneau has been declining for some time and I would like to see the city evaluate how existing school buildings might be repurposed. Moving all high school students to Thunder Mountain has been considered in the past and should be looked at again. JDHS has been kept in good repair and CBJ offices could be relocated there.

While transportation to Thunder Mountain could be a sticking point for high school students on Douglas Island, it takes only about 10 extra minutes to drive from JDHS to Thunder Mountain. A second bridge crossing the channel seems to be a priority for the city and could shorten that ride at some point. Along with combining high schools, the school district could consider altering the grades in the various school levels, i.e. elementary school could be grades K-6, middle school grades 7-9, high school grades 10-12, to make better use of facilities that have lower enrollments due to declining birth rates.

Mary Ann Dlugosch