A. K. Suter construction makes no sense

February 21, 2012

People are in an uproar over the $25 million proposed road construction on Pensacola Beach, but little is being said about the $21 million the School District wants to spend on a new A.K. Suter Elementary School.

A.K. Suter has 367 students. It’s enrollment is flat, despite allowing students outside of its attendance zone to enroll there. The school isn’t located in an out-of-way location without any other possible schools available. Yet Supt. Malcolm Thomas wants to replace it, at a cost $5 million more than Global Learning Academy–$17.2 million for over 800 students.

The decision does not make sound fiscal sense. $21 million for 367 students is a boondoggle, even if he can increase enrollment to 400.

Is there anyone on the School Board that’s fiscally responsible? Maybe the district has more capital funds that it really needs. If so, then it’s time to repeal the local option sales tax that we give the district.

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  • Jimmy Williams February 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    How can the leadership not speak up, this is wrong, this school has less students than Lincoln Park and Malcolm is planning to close Lincoln Park, here is an idea Malcolm how about working on blight in the inner city schools, go and rehab some of the schools you have closed in the City of Pensacola and then talk about building new buildings for your supporters and friends. Norm Ross speak up for your community

  • bradley v. February 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Is enrollment really flat, or can they not fit any more students in because their class sizes are maxed out? Will the new building be able to accommodate more students? The stats found in their School Accountability Report ( seem to show a balanced and successful little school, so why are you so opposed to the improvement of this 50+ year old property? The price tag does seem steep, but that alone does not mean that the entire concept should be scrapped–just, perhaps, revised after objective analysis.

  • Escambia Schoolwatcher February 22, 2012 at 8:25 am

    More of the same…thanks Malcolm.

    Give a politician lots of other people’s money and this is what you’ll get every time.

    Wake up Escambia. We need to get rid of our elected school superintendent and change to a professional educator to lift our sad schools out of the muck. That’s a trend nationwide, but as usual we’re slow to go there.

    Florida law allows a referendum to make the change from elected politicians to professional educators. Who will lead that charge?

  • Tony Teschel February 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Suter is a great school. I applaud Superintendent Thomas for his vision. What with the rising cost of fuel, neighborhood schools continue to be the solution.

  • observer February 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    The votes of the parents of 367 students isn’t worth $21 million.

    Again, my question is do we need this man that is making such decisions as the head of our school system?

  • mark February 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    he locks down the East Pensacola Heights vote with this announcement – it ain’t rocket science folks. Very similar to david Morgan locking down the Warrington vote with the groundbreaking on the new Sheriff’s substation. Gosh I wish I was an architect, engineer or subcontractor so that I could reap the benefits of this construction largesse – oink oink

  • observer February 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Do we need this man making such decisions? Remember that in November.