The city’s comprehensive plan references “school” 136 times, but never in the context of the Rochester Public School (RPS) district’s needs for growth. The plan must be updated to include an in-depth analysis of those needs. RPS experts insist a Southwest location is optimal for a new middle school, but the council voted not to annex the land it would be built upon. Detractors of the Southwest site reference “sprawl” and millions in infrastructure costs, yet developments near that location are inevitable, so spending that money is inevitable. Councilman Wojcik said on NPR that the Southwest location goes against the city comprehensive plan and supports a Northwest location. The same plan RPS was essentially left out of. Ironically, the Northwest site is just as far away as the Southwest location. The Northwest location is surrounded by more developable land, so will lead to as much, or more, sprawl as in the Southwest. A northern location also causes a massive switch in district boundaries, resulting in the loss of Willow Creek and Mayo as home schools in councilman Wojcik’s ward. RPS should tell the city what they need and then be supported, because RPS knows what is best for our children.

Mark Bransford, Rochester