Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor, 

As a former Wausau School District student and now parent of a district student,  I write to you out of both frustration and disgust as to the district’s decision to restructure.  For over the last 50 years, the district has based decisions on perceived needs and, in my opinion, wants – rather than sound,  common sense thinking. 

In the late 1960s,  it was decided that two high-schools were needed based on future growth,  both geographically and population wise.  Wausau West opened in 1970.  But rather than building a large enough school to handle its current enrollment plus growth, two high schools was the answer even though the original school was over 30 years old and constrained by a neighborhood. 

Mistake #1 in my opinion.

Then in the early 1980s Horace Mann was demolished,  and all 7th and 8th graders were sent to John Muir. I was one of those east-siders sent there.  A replacement was built in the early 90s.  Mistake #2,  as east side population growth was not keeping up with the west.  Then in the late 90’s it was FINALLY decided to replace the original Wausau East high school.  We heard the same old reasons,  out of date,  higher maintenance  costs, etc…so millions were spent on a new school on the outskirts of town.  Mistake #3.  Now to the last 3 years of big asks for money.  With the track record of failures how are we supposed to have any confidence in this restructuring plan?  We are supposed to bus or drive our kids to schools all over town?  Middle school and high school kids are old enough to handle that,  not 6th graders and under.  Quit the shuffling to fit YOUR needs and start listening to OUR needs.

Jim Lentz, Wausau