Time to think about district’s future

District 88 has completed a series of informational meetings, held in communities throughout the district, to explain the proposal for building a new high school and remodeling other buildings in the district to meet the future needs of the district.

Certainly, people have concerns. A $46.9 million bond proposal needs a lot of thought and consideration. People are concerned about the cost, whether there might be better (that is to say, cheaper) options, and where the tax burden will fall. People are concerned about whether the district is planning to build some kind of Taj Mahal with the overburdened taxpayers’ money. Some people wonder whether there is even a need for this kind of project.

There is indeed a need. One need only look at the portable classrooms sitting in the parking lot outside the high school, or try to figure out where to put all the students, or how to make a building built as a high school suitable for junior high students, to see there is a need.

The need has been studied for years. Different committees have produced many reports and recommendations. This past year, a task force of citizens looked over all the information collected over the years, looked at future needs of the district, and came to the conclusion that the best option for the future of the district is to build a new high school.

We all know that a good school system is vitally important to the well being of the whole community, not just those who have school-aged children. Looking ten, 15, 20 years down the road, can we say this school district will be what New Ulm needs unless we make the investment now?

Between now and Aug. 12, the date of the election, we hope people in the district will think seriously about the needs and the future of the district.

The Journal believes this is a necessary step, and that now is the time to take it. We should not repeat past history. The bond referendum to build the current high school had to go through several votes over several years. Each proposal cut more out of the project, but because of inflation in building costs and materials, not much was saved. We got less school for the same money.

New Ulm needs to make an investment in its school district, and we should make it now.