Updated: Sep 5, 2019
The voters of Marlington have spoken. Issue 3 was defeated. But where do we go from here?
Issue 3 was put on the ballot to fund a consolidated elementary school, combining Lexington, Marlboro and Washington. The new building would improve on safety, educational value and efficiency for students Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, creating great progress throughout the district.
The current buildings have tremendous issues, some of which being flood damage that continues to build up, construction materials containing asbestos (a cancer-causing substance), and minimal to no heating and cooling. It is a common occurrence for students to have to navigate hallways weaving around buckets collecting water from leaking roofs, or wearing blankets and winter coats in the winter months. As troubling as this may seem, most locals do not know the issues because they aren’t directly linked to the schools.
Many people voted “No” on the issue because they believe the fate of the schools does not affect them, perhaps because they don’t have children. But the consequences will affect the entire district. Schools in poor conditions will cause a drop in enrollment, as we have already seen in Marlboro’s miniscule class sizes.
Accompanying decreased enrollment, less young families will move into the district, so property demand will decrease greatly, along with value. As students grow up, there will not be nearly as many younger generations to take their place, potentially causing Marlington’s district to dissolve and split between Alliance, Lake and Louisville. Older couples that decide to downsize or move to warmer climates will be unable to sell their houses for a profit, if they’re able to sell at all. But these repercussions are all worth it because voters can save a massive $11 a month for every $100,000 of property, less than the cost of two packs of cigarettes for comparison.
Perhaps voters did not realize the outcome of their actions before they cast their ballot. Maybe some will have a change in heart after they see their property values plummet. But it’s too late now. Marlington as a district is looking to become less appealing to young families trying to make a substantial life for their children. Students will continue to lay waste to the harsh conditions in these schools because of the defiantly made decisions of their elders. The people have spoken.