Examples abound, from universities to sporting venues, where a decline in facilities leads to a decline in programming, morale and safety. This is absolutely the case with the State College Area High School. We can add to this list of negatives the reality that unless we vote yes to pass the referendum supporting the campus overhaul, the deteriorating physical plant will make it even harder to attract the best and brightest to our community — from potential district teachers and Penn State faculty and staff to business start-ups and local workforce candidates. Recruiting and retaining excellent people also boosts our local economy, and these dynamic forces work in conjunction with each other to make State College a great, strong community. Missing this opportunity to majorly upgrade our high school sends the process in the other direction.
Most importantly, though, a new facility is needed, for the kids. The Band-Aid approach of repair and maintenance will still cost $70 million; let’s use this opportunity to do it right, and overhaul the school to make it safe, secure and a welcoming environment that maximizes learning and development. Theologian and activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” May 20 is our chance to do something big for our children.
If you don’t think your vote matters, you’re mistaken — it really does. And if you’re on the fence about which way to vote, consider hopping off, and voting yes.