(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: JDHS is a much better facility for high school students

The Douglas Bridge was completed in 1935, unifying our community in more ways than one. By 1956, Juneau-Douglas High School opened its doors to students from both communities, ending decades of divided high schools.

Seventy-five years later, we are again wisely considering consolidating our two impoverished high schools. As it did in 1956, consolidating our two high schools may help unify our community and build a bridge to a better future for our students.

However, the proposition to mothball both middle schools, squeeze frosh out of high school, and push sixth graders back into elementary schools because of limited student parking at JDHS seems overly complicated, disruptive, and misplaced.

Parking aside, JDHS is a much better facility for high school students. JDHS is bigger than Thunder Mountain High School. It has wood, metals and auto shops, as well as a much larger and better auditorium for the arts. These are the programs that students want and need, but always get cut first.

TMHS is well-suited for middle school students and special programs. And it’s an easy move from Floyd Dryden into TMHS. If facilities and schedules are managed wisely, JDHS could easily accommodate TMHS students and have more to offer everyone.

There are much more important criteria upon which to make such important education decisions than parking for students who can afford to drive. Criteria like which facility offers the most and best choices for the greatest number of students — including those who don’t drive to school.

Clay Good