VANCOUVER -- A row is brewing north of the Columbia River over a $4,000 shower installed at the office of the superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools.
The district and superintendent Steve Webb declined to talk directly with KGW news. A statement sent out by the district Tuesday said the new 3 foot-by-3-foot shower enclosure was installed over the summer and without the knowledge of the school board.
Webb said he no longer wanted to use the showers at the neighboring community center. He added the new enclosure will save time and money if it keeps him closer to the office and not back and forth to his house for a wash down.
“For me, the installation of a small shower in the restroom adjacent to my office is about increased productivity time. The job of the superintendent often extends well beyond the regular business day,” Webb told The Columbian Tuesday.
With tight school budgets, the decision to spend so much on a shower didn't sit well with many parents.
”I thought that there were a lot of other ways that that money could be spent that would be more beneficial to the kids,” said parent Julie Parks.
Other parents were more visibly upset.
”Well, i think that’s ridiculous," said Jessica Owen. "I mean my kids need things for school. They have to provide school supplies for the entire class.”
The Columbian also noted that several times a year Webb gets dirty doing field work with support staff such as custodians. He recently helped recondition a running track. His chores have been documented on a district cable TV show called "On the Job With Steve."