Letter to the Editor: Ridgefield School District has made bad choices



While our district has grown and schools are overcrowded, several bad choices have occurred these past several years. Those choices have consequences. The school district taxpayers bought 50 acres to build a high school, but bonds didn’t pass. Eventually taxpayers passed a bond and were able to build the current middle school on Hillhurst. We were told the junior high in downtown Ridgefield was old and it needed many repairs, but taxpayers would get a large amount of money from the state to close that school for students and build the school on Hillhurst, which is very modern. Now the old school houses the superintendent’s office, a coffee shop and several others. Why would we take all those rooms away from students and put other businesses in an unsafe building that needed many repairs? Those rooms now could be used for the overcrowded student population. The taxpayers paid for the old View Ridge school, and now it can’t be used to teach students.

After the new junior high was built, someone made a choice to trade property (about 7 acres) from the Kennedy subdivision and then put those acres on the property sold for a high school, thus the Raptors baseball field. Currently, the remaining 50 acres has many other sports fields. Those sports fields should not have taken priority over possible future growth and the need for more schools to house students. Fewer sports fields would have allowed plenty of room for another school. Did the taxpayers vote to build schools or numerous sporting fields?

When taxpayers voted to remodel/build at the high school, the building to the north of the new buildings was demolished. We were already growing as a community at the time, so why would we destroy a building when more students were coming to Ridgefield? Another taxpayer building removed with several classrooms that could have housed students.

Now the district has purchased more land on 29” Avenue for a middle school. Are we overbuilding with public schools currently losing students to private schools? The last superintendent was the highest paid in the state of Washington in 2022-23.

School officials say they want to know why people don’t support the bonds. Maybe some people live in homes far older than our schools, maybe they feel that the decisions made by the school officials can’t be trusted and just maybe they can’t afford a big tax raise with two bonds. It is time to include all Ridgefield residents. Show us a plan for the middle school, and communicate truthfully. Four generations of our families have attended/graduated from Ridgefield. My husband and I are lifetime residents of Ridgefield, and both of our children were Spudders, too. New state-of-the-art schools don’t teach children, but teachers do.

Linda Hoffman