Let me first introduce myself. My name is Blaine Wallace. I am the
current president of the Olympic High School Athletic Booster Club.
I am a life long Steele Creek resident and a 1977 graduate of
Olympic High School. I have one son who graduated from Olympic in
2003 and another who will hopefully graduate in June of 2008.
I am here to today to
address this board concerning the 10-year growth plan for CMS and
how it relates to Olympic High School. But first let me give you
some information about Olympic. The Steele Creek community, of which
Olympic lies within, is truly a diverse and integrated community.
Olympic is probably the most naturally diverse high school within
the CMS system. Olympic is truly a part of the Steele Creek
community and in turn its facilities are used by the neighborhood in
many ways. In addition to Olympicís sports teams our faculties are
used by other groups all year long. The American Legion as well as
many youth and adult leagues use our baseball field. The Steele
Creek Athletic Association, a childrenís wrestling team and several
AAU basketball teams use our gyms. In times of crisis, the Red Cross
and Home Land Security have used our gyms as relief shelters. The
Trojan Classic, our marching band's yearly competition, uses the
stadium to help raise funds for their programs. The ROTC uses the
stadium as a parade ground for their competitions. Steele Creek
Elementary School uses the field to host their Fall Festival and a
kidís football league uses the field during the fall. As you can see
Olympic is part of the community and is used regularly.
But our parents and
students are frustrated! We are frustrated that when we go to Audrey
Kell, you see a football field of plush carpet. In a stadium that is
the envy of many junior colleges much less other high schools in our
area. Then we return home to play on a field of Bermuda grass, dirt
and mud in a stadium that can be best described as very old,
inadequate and substandard and has no handicap accessible seating,
old worn out restrooms, bleachers and concession stand.
Our parents and
students are disappointed! We are disappointed that when we have a
home track meet we must go to Waddell High School. We are
disappointed because our track is cracked, torn up and too small to
host an event. Our parents and students are disheartened! We are
disheartened that when we attend a baseball game at South
Mecklenburg we see a field that is properly lighted. We see a new
backstop, fencing and bleachers. Then we return home to cinderblock
dugouts, a concession stand with no running water, no restroom
faculties and unsafe bleachers.
Our parents and
students are disillusioned that we must continue to come up with
money to replace old equipment. That we must raise funds and rebuild
a baseball backstop that was unsafe. That we must replace a
wrestling mat that was over twenty years old and worn out. That we
must upgrade a weight room or put up a windscreen on a softball
field. But we are even more disappointed that we know that we can
only do a small part.
Our parents and
students are upset! We are upset that two years ago, Olympic was a
priority on the bond issue. Now we are second thought and are not
going to be included in Novemberís bond. We are upset that newer
schools improvements have moved ahead of Olympic on the priority
list. Where is the logic? We know that new schools have to be built
to relieve overcrowding, but there has to be a concentrated effort
to maintain older schools too.
In the current
ten-year growth plan there is a new high school scheduled to be
built in lower Steele Creek. Although this school is several years
away, it is our fear that when the school is built Olympic will be
ancient history! All the resources and money of the community will
be funneled away from Olympic. The bright shinny penny will get all
the glory, while the dull old penny will be left behind. Please
donít forget Olympic. OLYMPIC NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT NOW! Most of
Olympicís parents realize that any improvements that happen will
probably happen long after our kids have graduated. We are concerned
for the future! We are not looking for ďTaj MahalĒ standards,
although that would be nice. We only ask that you commit to maintain
and upgrade all schools. That our children are given the same
opportunities and faculties that other schools within CMS offer.