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Letter to the Editor: Look to the future, not the past, when voting on school referendum

By Linda Brant, Charles City

Charles City has not had a vote for school construction since the 1950s! That vote was for the current high school, which is now 63 years old and in need of repairs.

Any structure that old is due for updating of electrical, heating and plumbing systems. Any structure that was built for the needs of society in the mid-20th century is due for updating to meet 21st century technology.

Our town is the only school in our conference and one of the few in a hundred mile radius to not have an auditorium. Your YES vote in November is needed to bring education in our community up-to-date.

I’m not sure any of us agree with all of the school choices of the last few decades. People are still talking about Jefferson, Grand and the new Middle School. Those choices are in the past. They cannot be changed, and they have nothing to do with the high school our students need in the future.

We have had a string of superintendents. A NO vote from you has no more impact on them than they have impact on us getting a renovated high school with an auditorium. The school board members that made choices you may not have agreed with have come and gone. A NO vote on this project has nothing to do with them.

Your vote has everything to do with our current students and the students of upcoming generations.

Town residents who are long gone gave us the auditorium at Grand Avenue that we used and cherished for 90 years. It’s time for us to give the town a performance center that will serve that purpose for the next generations.

Nothing lasts forever. Our auditorium had limitations, just like any structure would after 90 years. It was built to serve the needs of 1930, with no knowledge of how technology and educational needs would change by 2023.

I’m asking you to vote YES on the school referendum on Nov. 7. Community members built every school any of us attended wherever we grew up. They were looking into the future, not knowing that we would be the ones to benefit from their generosity, perhaps decades later.

Our community needs the best-educated young people possible, just as our society has needed strong education since our representative democracy began. Look to the future.

— Linda Brant is a retired Charles City High School English teacher, speech and drama director.

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