Tuesday, voters will go to the polls to decide the fate of a $37 million school bond proposal.
It's the most expensive bond ever proposed in the county. And it will only get more expensive the longer voters delay the measure, which most agree is needed, even if they understandably balk at the cost.
Yet, overall, the cost is relatively low for a major public building designed to last into the next generation (and the way the school district manages to maintain its buildings it could last much, much longer than that). Consider that for most homeowners, their taxable assessed valuation is roughly half of what the assessor (or a real estate agent) says the property is worth, and if your taxable assessed valuation is $100,000 (for a home worth roughly twice that), you'll pay just under $15 extra a month.
For that price, about that of a medium pizza delivered, you get a greatly improved facility that will be used by both students and the general public for years to come. You'll help relieve overcrowding at some of the schools, especially Hacker Middle School. And you'll be greatly expanding the ability of the school district to meet the needs of students preparing to enter the workforce in the 21st century.
Some people have complained about the addition of the gym (required by state law) and auditorium, considering them unnecessary frills. They're not. They're classrooms. We need to stress that. They're classrooms.
In the same way that science students need an equipped lab to properly learn, performing arts students also need a "lab" (the auditorium), to properly learn their crafts. The gym is so heavily booked right now that "stage time" is either at a premium, or must compete with things like a basketball practice. Imagine trying to teach for a musical performance while a basketball practice is going on at the same time.
The school board knows money doesn't grow on trees. They delayed asking for this Phase II expansion of the junior high until they absolutely had to. They only included items they felt were absolutely necessary.
To be honest, anyone who's closely looked at the proposal, and/or was involved in its preparation as part of the citizen's committee recommendations, knows there really aren't any frills here.
The time has come for all citizens of the district to step up, accept their responsibility to meet the needs of our children, grandchildren and future generations, and pass this bond.
We urge a yes vote next Tuesday.