Over at Riverside-Brookfield High School, members of the administration and board of education are now in a pickle. They have a demolished football stadium that needs to be rebuilt and they just learned that the construction plan — which also includes a parking lot and new tennis courts subject to approval from the village of Brookfield — is way over budget.
One of the bigger ticket items is a storm water detention vault to be built under the parking lot. It’s there to provide protection against basements and streets from flooding during heavy rain events, something that’s become more common in the past decade or so.
The school board believes they’re being squeezed unnecessarily on the storm water issue and members have made their displeasure known. What they have to realize, however, is that trustees on the village board worry about getting re-elected too, and that the village has and will continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in flood mitigation programs.
Since 2008, flood mitigation has been a singular focus of the village board, in response to complaints from residents. So, RBHS should not be surprised that this issue is a very important one for village officials.
This storm water issue, which has not been resolved, has had the effect of the school board trying to find nickels and dimes to make other parts of the project less expensive. What they should also consider, however, is not to nickel and dime themselves into something that is going to cost more money and provide more headaches down the road.
All they need to do is look at the new field house, the condition of the football field and the pool ventilation system to see where taking the cheap route will take you.
We sympathize with the district, which now is going to have to scramble to get anything built by next fall. But we’d ask that they look at the long view and do this right. Endure the headaches now and save pain down the road.