Supporting MCC bond proposals are worth it for our kids

October 19, 2023

Supporting MCC bond proposals are worth it for our kids

Letters to the editor are opinion editorials submitted by readers. Letters to the editor are a long tradition in American journalism. The views and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of Mason County Press, its staff or its parent company. For more information, please refer to MCP’s Op/Ed policy.

Dear Editor:

On November 7, the voters of the Mason County Central School District are being called to the polls once again in support of our schools. Two previous proposal packages have been turned down; the two proposals being offered next month are the result of open communication, collaboration, and goal consistency in the aftermath of those failed attempts. I have had the honor of working with our district on the previous bonds, and I have witnessed firsthand the attention given to listening to constituents and the diligent effort put forth to consider concerns. As a result, the previous larger proposals have been split into two smaller options.

Proposal One addresses the immediate needs across the district to bring our facilities up to date. These are not extravagant requests; many are important infrastructure updates to buildings that have been maintained extremely well for over half a century by a district that understands the importance of sustainability and fiscal responsibility. The infamous library ceiling tiles do not look like that due to lack of care; they still exist because of the financial investments made on our behalf by our leaders. Since 2017, the district has completed an average bond’s worth of large, district-wide projects without asking us as the taxpayers for our own investments. Using district funds, ESSER/COVID funds, and Energy Savings Bonds, they have put $6.1 million into: resurfacing the track, district-wide LED lighting, replacing old equipment with high-efficiency HVAC and Univent units in multiple buildings, door and window replacements, and exterior insulation and refinishing. Technology upgrades include the installation of an immersion room for expanded learning opportunities – the only one of its kind in a K-12 school in the country! In addition, we partnered with SunLarge Industries to install our Solar Power Array, a project funded by SLI that provides MCC with energy at a discounted rate. Our district has not only maintained our facilities with care; it has invested wisely and boldly in our future. Now we need to do the same.

Proposal Two would upgrade our current performance and community spaces. This would involve remodeling parts of the high school to include an updated performance auditorium as well as an office addition. It would finance much needed improvements to the technology in the building’s classrooms. Our music classes have long outgrown the staging in AO Carlson. Anyone who has attended a K-2 Christmas pageant can describe the crowds standing four or five people deep around the perimeter of the room or the lack of lighting on half of the students. The logistics that go into even preparing that space for an event are mind-blowing. When not in use in that capacity, AO Carlson serves its true purpose as an auxiliary gym and practice space for five different athletic teams. In addition, it is our standardized testing center and a storage space for both the band and athletic departments due to lack of space elsewhere. The amount of time our facilities team spends resetting that space is time wasted that should be used on other needed projects around our campus.

Mason County Central has made do with the facilities we have and has taken pride in the innovations of necessity birthed from our community-wide belief in being good stewards of what we have been given. In his book written with fellow MCC alumni Sarah Jensen, Maynard James Keenan wrote, “Back in Scottville, I watched my family and neighbors grow much of their own food, so I understood even then what it is to be sustainable. We lived within our means and were creative with what we had.” That creativity is still so vibrant in our community. I see it in the work our students produce, the dedication of our teaching staff, and the voices of our school board and administrators. I also see it in the fields around my house and the many varieties of locally grown nutrients our agricultural neighbors provide us. I’ve seen the Care Box filled to the brim with food items for those in need. In our small town, we show up big for each other, and we do it because we are more than just people who share a post office. We are a family. We are Scottville.

There is a lot for us to be proud of as a school district and as a community. Our town is experiencing a revitalization because people see what we have done with limited resources and they believe in the potential of what we could do given appropriate funding. They are betting on us – the members of this idyllic agricultural community – to prove them right. One way we can do that is to show up to the polls on November 7 and proudly check yes for both Proposals One and Two. They are more than an investment in our buildings. They are an investment in the development and future of our students; they are a promise to support the rock stars teaching them; and they are a chance for us to stand together as a community and say, “We are worth the investment!”

Kelli Stojic

Victory Township

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