I'm about as frugal as the next guy or am I? Depends on what the money is going for. In the past, when the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School District appeared to be shrinking in numbers, I was for holding the line when it came to dollars spent. But now the time has arrived to spend some and add on to our present buildings as will be proposed in an upcoming bond issue.
The reason for the change of heart came to me from several pieces of information. Right now, I think it's too bad the district decided not to build when the MMC School Board suggested the district should. Costs have risen and if you think they are going to go down or remain the same, I have a bridge I want you to buy. The district could have been using these facilities to the educational advantage of the district's children.
Another reason I'm wanting the proposal to be approved is through a personal experience with the school district I attended as a student. I went home for my 50th high school class reunion and part of that three-day event was a tour of the high school. When I was a freshman, the new addition to the high school was just opened in the fall of 1952. This addition was almost half again as large as the original high school itself. Guess what was in that addition? The lower floor was split with shop taking about half, art and some storage filled the remaining area. On the second floor, two-thirds was the gymnasium and across the hall was the kitchen and lunchroom (the first ever for Chariton). The top floor was the gym rising up with a balcony on three sides and the remaining area was a band and a vocal music room. No academic book-learning space but space to fill the needs of students. I'm guessing the vote was taken in late 1949 or early 1950. There was no fuss, no complaints. Why am I so sure of that? My Dad was on the town council and our neighbor was on the school board for years. Everyone loved it.
Returning to the tour, most classmates were recalling incidents that made us all chuckle but every now and then my husband would ask me what was wrong. Apparently I was conveying my dismay. This was not the new building I had memories of. Yes they had painted. In fact, they were busy installing new bleachers. But it looked old and very used. I'm thinking this school would not be a drawing card to the town. HyVee had drawn its corporate offices out to Des Moines.
I don't want folks coming back to Marcus and thinking my thoughts. A school with attractive facilities and room for various activities whether it be for book learning, music learning, computer learning, acting learning. exercise learning (too many of us can use this one) or whatever learning is what is needed.
Also when folks come to Marcus to sporting and music activities, we would no longer have to cringe at our restroom and locker room facilities. We would have a decent space for concessions and seating to enjoy them.
The Cleghorn building has long been overcrowded and it's time to get the fourth grade back with the other lower elementary which is as it should be. Even with the two fourth grade sections back in Marcus, the Cleghorn building will not have an abundance of room.
Another reason for having a positive vote is that the board has proven its ability to be financially responsible. If there is any doubt, you should check with similar schools of our size and see whether they are debt free.
I was impressed with the financing plan which won't be detrimental to either the old or young.
Another factor is making the school system attractive to make folks want to claim the MMC District as their home. We not only want to be progressive but look the part as well. Our fire department is second class to no one. Our nursing home is one of the finest around. Let's say the same for our school and feel proud as we point out our education facilities.
The board is planning more than one information meetings in the next couple of weeks. Bring your questions and let us all pull together for this one.