Let’s keep Fort Dodge’s schools strong

Due to the snowstorm on Feb. 2, the vote in the Fort Dodge Community School District to determine the fate of two general obligation bond requests had to be postponed. It will now take place Tuesday.

This school funding decision is a high-priority matter.

The quality of the school system is at stake. It is vital that both measures be approved.

Bond Proposition A asks for $21.7 million for a new facility to replace the closed Duncombe Elementary School as well as security improvements across the district.

The 103-year-old building that served the community so well for so long as Duncombe Elementary School had to be closed in August due to structural concerns. Replacing it with a new school is the only sensible – and cost-effective – way to proceed. The current relocation of Duncombe’s students to a building the school district no longer owns is a good short-term approach, but it is only a temporary option.

Anyone who is even a casual observer of contemporary news understands that the era when schools could be presumed safe without significant security expenditures is – sadly – over. Making sure that schools are well-protected from those who would commit mayhem is imperative.

Bond Proposition B asks for $6,670,000 for improvements at Fort Dodge Senior High, including renovating its 1969-era pod area and remodeling its auxiliary gym and wrestling room.

Keeping our schools state-of-the-art is an ongoing need. Investing in these upgrades would show an important commitment to that goal. These expenditures are needed and deserve approval.

Preparing young people to be men and women of character who have the knowledge and skills to keep our society vibrant is vital to the future of every community. That alone would be reason enough to support these critical measures.

There is, however, more to consider.

Among the most important determinants of a community’s long-term prosperity is the vitality of its school system. A town’s schools have an enormous impact on economic development. Businesses seeking to expand or relocate pay close attention to the quality and reputation of the schools that will serve their workers’ children. Consequently, school bond decisions affect even those people who don’t have children or grandchildren in local schools. They should recognize that the success of those educational institutions could turn out to be very important to their own well-being.

The Messenger strongly supports both bond requests. Show your support for keeping our school system top-notch by going to the polls Tuesday and voting “yes” for both measures.