Sunday, October 23, 2011

Let's Build It: Thoughts from Marc Saluk on the New School Proposal

I’m often asked my opinion about the correlation between new school buildings and economic development because of my job. But, despite the title, I am no expert on the matter. Near as I can tell, no one is. It’s a tough correlation to make statistically because there are a large number of factors that define both quality schools and economic development.

However, that doesn’t mean that economic development directors don’t get a good insight into the matter. Why is this? Because it’s our job to speak regularly to those that run the nations’ industries. While it may not breakdown neatly into statistical formula, direct feedback from decision makers is an excellent indicator about an issue.

Based on this, I can definitively state that school buildings DO matter. At least in the minds’ of some very key people-- those that create jobs.

I know they matter because I speak all the time to plant managers’ who decided NOT to reside in Greenville because of the older school facilities. Why do so, they say, when virtually every other district in the region has a modern facility, equipped with the technology it now takes to prepare students for the world?

I know they matter because of the number of executives who have told me their spouse’s were not impressed by their initial drive-by of the district’s buildings. I know this because of the number of plant managers’ that tell me it’s tough to recruit young professionals because they are turned-off by the district’s older facilities.

These are not my opinions. These are the opinions of many who view the school district from the outside and make decisions that affect local employment. Agree with them or don’t. At the end of the day, their opinions do impact our community in a very real way.

If I had to guess, I would say their opinions are based on more than the buildings themselves. Speaking with them also seems to indicate that the lack of new buildings also speaks to the community’s pride. Again, this may be unfair but…well, you know what our parents always told us that life was…

What’s MY opinion? I’ll do something unusual here and quote myself because I think I summed up my thoughts pretty well in an article written by The Advocate several months ago. At the risk of being a bit self-indulgent, here I go…quoting me:
“It’s hard to directly and definitively correlate jobs and school buildings. However, there is little question about two things: job retention and growth is tied in part to local education and work force quality. And, the quality of that local education and work force is, in these days of increased technology in the classroom, tied in part to the existence of modern facilities for a school district.”
New resources for our children AND a better prospect of a good job for them in the future? To me, the combination makes a new school facility a tough thing to vote against this November.


  1. Blah blah blah. How many of the communities in this county had new businesses come into to their districts just because they built a new building? The fact is you have NO proof that this will attract new corps or business to our town. How about you worry more about the quality of teachers? Greenville did not score well among county schools in the last report. Just be honest with people, you have no evidence that new business will come. You want a new shiny building because all the other districts have them.

  2. BLAH,BLAH,BLAH. Every new school in the county is up to date with today's technology. Greenville students are falling behind the standards of today's economical society all so selfish people can save a few bucks. Greenville needs a new k-8 building, but Greenville also needs some more competent adults also.

  3. Mr Saluk is talking and has no facts to back himself up. To expect us to believe what he said plant managers have said is a insult to the general public knowledge of what has happened in other towns with new schools. Poor judgement on Mr Saluk part to even suggest that.

  4. ALL of them FYI have had new businesses come into their district. The fact is Greenville kids are falling behind in a technological society because of there outdated schools. It is time to get our schools updated for the sake of our kids and also for the adults of this community for the children ARE our future. We need to also take the money we are being handed by the state before it is no longer available.

  5. Anonymous, 5:08, establish your credentials to criticize. How many companies have you made the decision for to come/not come to a community? How many oriole have you hired in the last 24 months? have you ever had to make a decision to move/not moved to a community based on what they had for your school agree child? If so, how recent?

    Your thoughts seem to be motivated by your wallet not on the need. That is a valid reason, but don't critique someone who had had those conversations and is expressing that to the public.

  6. How about this for a plan? 1. Pass the levy and get the new building because it is desperately needed, and then 2. Clean up the rest of the mess in the Greenville School District.

    It will take a great commitment from our community on both.

  7. The question of whether a new school should be built is no longer in dispute. The only question which remains is when (if ever) can the forward-looking among us figure out a way to get one more vote than those who selfishly stand in our way.

  8. It is a proven fact that new buildings do not make kids smarter. It is also proven we need new or better updated buildings.
    It is a proven fact that if you build a new building on a deformed foundation it will not last. We all have a bigger problem right now and it is not the buildings, it is the leadership telling every one else what decissions to makes.
    Untill the top leadership in this system is handled why would you prase them with even more money.

  9. If this passes they will be back again in a year asking for a continuing operating levy. You won't see people like Badge of the others crying about how badly we need this then. They will go into hiding. They know they will need more money.

  10. With regards to the threat of an operating levy:

    Since funds for building a new school and funds for operating are separate, paying for a new school will not hurt the ability to pay for operation.

    However, having a new school that is more efficient and economically viable will reduce costs and implement efficiencies that will help prevent the need for an operating levy.

    Would you rather have you tax $$ pay to operate an efficient, cost effective solution? Or keep funneling it away on the existing buildings that are horribly inefficient?

  11. If the new school is built it will combine 4 buildings into 1, correct?
    What is going to happen to all the extra staff members?
    Are we still going to need all the office staff, etc when the are all in one building?

  12. They will keep about ten vice principals and assistants. There was an article a while back saying they would probably not let anyone go but may allow a reduction through attrition. Which means they are going to keep everyone. Huge waste of money if so. All we hear is how much more efficient this will be, well show us by cutting personnel.

  13. It was stated to the facility committee that there would be some staff consolidation that would happen. However, for many obvious reasons, they can't state "if we pass this new school, positions X,Y and Z will be removed." to do so would cause undue stress and unrest among the staff, taking their attention away from their tasks at hand.

    Not to mention that it's difficult to know what you're going to need/not need 3 years from now in a school that isn't even built yet.

  14. Peter apparently you haven't been in newer buildings with high effecient equipment and technolegy, It takes alot more of time and money for maintenace of this equipment, it cost more for repairs for this equipment and there is alot more equipment to maintain, the operating cost may equal out some, being that what you may save in heating will be ate up in cooling cost.

  15. Look people I go to GHS, and I can tell you that the heat in that building sucks last year on the west end of the building some rooms didnt get up to 60 degrees and on the east side some rooms got up to 80 degrees. The water that WE drink is rusty sometimes and gross... And the whole technology thing is CHANGING we need new things new computers, smart boreds, clickers, and books. And I know this Building is for the lower grades but I want you all to know what the students think we need this for YOUR kids and our town!! Go walk though the Jr.High, South, East, and Woodland I DARE YOU TO WALK THOUGH THEM AND LOOK at them and see what YOUR KIDS HAVE TO DEAL WITH EVERYDAY!!! COME ON GREENVILLE YOUR BETTER THEN THAT we USED TO BE LOVEING AND CAREING!

  16. I have one question. Can anybody tell me the names of any plant/business that continuously keeps being mentioned? I would think that the sex offender housing would be the big turn off.

  17. There are some questions contained in these comments that I would be happy to provide an answer to (well, the ones that are directed towards my editorial anyway). If those who posed them wish, they can call my cell phone at 564-3819. I would be happy to discuss my reasoning as well as your point of view. Thanks!--- Marc Saluk

  18. 13:11, can you name a place that doesn't have that problem besides Jaysville?

  19. Anonymous 10-23 5:52- I case you may not have known, Greenville got an Excellent rating on the state report card. One knotch below the top level:"excelent with distinction"

  20. Fact: Family relocating to our area due to employment at new dry ice plant. Refused to buy house in Greenville due to condition of Greenville schools. Moved to Troy/Tipp area. Fact: Family relocating to our area transferring from South Carolina. Loved house in Greenville but decided on Arcanum because of new school. FYI..I don't live in Greenville, but I do work there, and I do see the need for your community to build a new school. Some other things that would help. #1 Clean up your should be demanding that your neighbors pick up their s_ _t! What's with all the couchs, strollars and crap on everyone's porches? Your town is looking like a craphole! Greenville used to be the pride of Darke County but now it is truly the dark spot in Darke County. I know time's are tough but it's just about picking up your trash and throwing it away! #2 Tear it down! If it's empty...tear it down...don't turn into Dayton. I think the advocate should start an ugliest spot in Greenville contest and if they clean it up...then they get a prize! Reverse psychology.


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