Schools are more than just brick and mortar. For many, they are important hubs: athletics; after-school programs; community gatherings and in some cases, places of worship. Yelm Community Schools has done a great job of maintaining its buildings, but many are deteriorating. Adults that have gone through the YCS educational pipeline share stories of how their kids are attending school in the same building as when they were students, more than 30 years ago!
The $76 million bond will rebuild both Yelm Middle School and Southworth Elementary, and renovate Prairie Elementary. All schools get safety upgrades, with 34 of 91 portables being removed.
Meanwhile, construction costs continue to rise. These three projects were included on a failed 2016 measure. Now, taxpayers are being asked to pay $16.5 million more. Waiting is not doing our students -- and voters -- any favors.
Education is more than just about teachers. Security remains a top priority. But school buildings must also be equipped with modern technology, so our kids gain the advanced skills needed to compete in tomorrow’s workforce. Investments in education lead to prosperity and productive adults. Please vote "yes" to invest in schools on Feb. 13!
(Miller is chair for Citizens for the Support of Yelm Schools)