By Lynnette Bellin – Reprinted with her permission
A little over a year ago, our community banded together and ensured that WC-1 passed to fund construction of new schools and make significant repairs for older schools in our growing community. Fifty-seven percent of voters supported this initiative. I don’t know about you, but I’m beyond frustrated to have learned that the battle for new schools isn’t over. It’s time to rally again, and this time, it’s the students of central Reno, old Sparks, Sun Valley and Spanish Springs that need our help with Wildcreek High School.
There is a small but vocal minority that is fighting the development of this high school because they are concerned about losing a golf course and increased traffic. What I’d love to say to these people: Seriously? Have you looked around Reno lately? There are housing developments sprouting up everywhere. The majority of these developments seem to be high-density housing. Our population is expanding quickly. I’m sorry to say, but you’re worried about traffic? The traffic is coming with or without these schools. We need to ensure we start building schools now so that our children don’t pay the price for this growth with severe overcrowding and a suffering education system.
As for you golfers, I know you like your golf courses, but the fact is that Wildcreek has been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. It’s projected to lose $337,000 for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority this year. Also, WCSD has announced that they’re making efforts to spare a 9-hole course and the clubhouse, which sounds like a win-win to me.
I’m really getting sick of golfers in this area fighting new schools in order to protect their hobby. I’m going to stereotype a bit here, but I’m assuming these local golfers are retired, probably without grandchildren in the area because they’ve moved here to retire. I’m also assuming these retirees probably had a pretty good education themselves, considering golf usually is a sport for people who are more affluent. If these people are so blessed to be living in our gorgeous area and enjoying the fruits of their own quality education, why would they fight the needed schools to ensure a quality education for the children in our community? Who wants to live in a community where the youth don’t have a quality education? I’m not a golfer, but when I look up Reno golf courses, it appears there are plenty of locations for this hobby (whereas my favorite hobby, swimming, has a severe lack of pools in our community — but that’s beside the point). We have seen area retirees and golfers fighting both the Wildcreek High School and Arrowcreek Middle School, which makes me absolutely livid.
If you ask me, their protests are too late. They should have been protesting the housing developments; once those are approved, it’s absolutely irresponsible to deny the schools that will be needed to absorb the extra capacity within WCSD.
It also frustrates the hell out of me that showing up at public meetings seems to be the chosen way for local government to take input from our community. I’m sorry, but you don’t see a ton of parents at these meetings because most of us are working during the day and taking care of the very children that these decisions will impact in the evening. Meanwhile, these affluent retirees in our area have all the time in the world to go rant at public meetings.
This “not in my backyard” mentality that many of these vocal opponents seem to have is completely unacceptable. The children of WCSD live in our neighborhoods, and their schools need to be in our neighborhoods too. We can’t just bus all of the kids to schools on the outskirts of town. That would be asinine.
This is a call to arms. We thought the battle was over when we ensured that WC-1 passed in the election, but we need to continue our fight. Reno Moms Blog will publish one action item a day that you can quickly do to show your support for Wildcreek High School and new schools in general. Please help us share these action items far and wide so that the RSCVA, WCSD and the City of Reno all know that there is overwhelming support for the new schools being funded by WC-1.
Lynnette Bellin is the owner and site manager of the Reno Moms Blog.