Patrick Browning: Losses outweigh gains of Whistler school site

If the superintendent of schools and the board of education actually select the Whistler site to shoehorn a too-large building onto a too-small site, and…

If the Mount Werner Water District actually decides to sell their legacy property adjacent to the Whistler site when so many of their customers object to the project, and…

If the citizens of Steamboat Springs actually vote to approve the school’s bond proposal, which includes a school at the Whistler residential area…

Then, these are many, but certainly not all, of the things that the residents of the Whistler area stand to lose and to gain:

Lose:

• The Milky Way: On any clear night all year long, the dark sky in Whistler allows you to see a million stars and the Milky Way, here in the city limits.

• Open space: Walkers, runners, bikers, moms and dads with baby strollers, Frisbee tossers, kites and hang gliders, people visiting while the kids and the dogs romp about and so much more.

• Dog park: Humans and dogs exercising together, dogs chasing balls and sticks and each other around the fields.

• Sports. Pick-up soccer and football games, lacrosse practice, wild and crazy rugby games, kids soccer tournaments, teams warming up, golfers hitting balls in the spring, individuals exercising on the fields, cross-country skiers, snow shoers and so much more.

• Peace and quiet.   

Gain:

• A neighborhood school that will generate increased traffic and congestion, with over 1,000 trips every school day. Whistler Road — a straightaway 7/10ths of a mile long — will become a drag strip of young parents trying to get the kids to school and themselves to work on time, with school buses, long lines at the stop signs and so much more.

• Two years of construction: Bulldozers, loaders, cranes, dump trucks, road graders, concrete trucks, paving vehicles, huge tractor trailers attempting an impossible turn onto narrow little Park Court, subcontractor trucks everywhere on the adjacent streets, blowing trash from the site, and so much more.

And in the end: A huge two-story building with a gymnasium taller than the surrounding homes, parking lot and security lights on all night, every night, 365 nights a year … forever. Snow-removal equipment with glaring spotlights arriving at 5 or 6 in the morning — big diesel engines revving and belching black smoke, and beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, all winter long in the pre-dawn light.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Patrick Browning

Steamboat Springs

via:: Steamboat Pilot & Today