Stingy legislators ravaging the budget. Teaching to the test. No Child Left Behind. Let's face it: Education in the West stinks. But at the Boise WaterShed, embracing the filth-not dolling it up or giving it a property-tax break-will be the whole point. Workers broke ground Friday on the 6,500-square-foot education center, to be plopped down in the middle of the West Boise Wastewater Treatment Plant north of Chinden Blvd. When it opens in 2006, the center will feature multiple hands-on exhibits teaching visitors about the complex world of wastewater through sight, sound and smell (as if you could avoid it at a wastewater treatment plant). It will also feature a 75-foot observation tower, from which observers will be able to scan the entire facility for that long-lost goldfish. We're figuring that they're counting on more mandatory field-trip visitors than the stumble-in "First Thursday" kind of crowds.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter admitted to a great deal of hesitancy about the project, but explained at the groundbreaking how the WaterShed's president, Donna-Marie Hayes, convinced him of the wisdom of waste. "After spending the time to look at this, we know just how right it is," he said. We'll take your word for it, Mr. Mayor.