Just OK, is not OK; our students deserve new schools, upgrades



February 22, 2019 - 10:16 PM

I support the upcoming bond issue for several reasons. Most importantly, I believe this new elementary school, new science building and a new heating and cooling system at the middle school is the right thing for our schools and communities of Iola, Gas and LaHarpe. For years, we have spent so much money fixing up and making do, but it hardly shows because they’re only repairs. The savings we will have on maintenance and concentration of services will help us keep our good teachers and attract new ones, as well as bring new educational material into the classrooms.

I also believe new school buildings will spur economic growth, and for sure, pride in our schools that has been lacking for years now. The last time we voted to build a new school was in 1976, almost 50 years ago. Renovations were a long time ago, too. We’ve been treading water, making do, patching up for the lifetime of the kids who are in our schools today. I hope voters will take the time to visit the buildings so they can see the urgent need.

I helped with a high school forensics meet several weeks ago and had the opportunity to see how out-of-date our science building is. I was disappointed that students from 19 schools that Saturday witnessed the sad state of that building. Everyone knows how much the world of science and technology has changed. We have gone from the slide rule era — when the science building was built — to technology that fits in the palm of your hand. Change is the only constant. USD 257 has to catch up its facilities and prepare for the future.

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