Mall project places ‘unfair,’ ‘unnecessary’ demands on school district

To the editor:

We have been residents of the Crestwood and Sunset Hills community since 2004, and we have three young children who attend Lindbergh schools.

The quality of Lindbergh’s schools was an essential factor in our decision to move to this area, and we have been very pleased with the education our children have received thus far.

We have serious concerns about the proposed Crestwood mall redevelopment project. As you know, the inclusion of 225 residential apartment units would lead to a sizable increase in the school district’s population, which has already been growing at a rapid rate over the past several years. Additionally, there is no reliable plan for a commensurate increase in funding to match this projected student population increase.

There are two main concerns that arise from this proposal. First, how does a school district that has already been stretching its resources to accommodate a growing student body find a way to stretch even more without compromising the quality of the education it provides?

Second, if the district is forced to cope with a population surge, where will the funding come from — and how much additional revenue is needed — to maintain the current educational standards?

Our feeling is that the redevelopment project places unfair and unnecessary demands on the Lindbergh school district.

Something’s going to give, and it will be quality of the students’ education. It seems to us that the logical solution is to eliminate the plan for the apartment units.

If, for whatever reason, this cannot be done, then additional revenue must be provided to the district to allow for the expansion of facilities, staff, and other resources that would be required to adequately serve our community. We would expect a transparent process that would inform the community of the projected population increase, the associated educational costs and the financial plan that would secure the necessary funding for our schools.

To the Crestwood citizens, mayor and aldermen, we appreciate your time, and are confident in your ability to make a decision that will support the long-term future of our wonderful school district.