The following letter to the editor, authored by former County Commissioner Diane Hamby, will appear this week in local media.
The leaves are falling, there is a chill in the morning air, and political signs are popping up everywhere. We see and hear endless TV and radio commercials trying to persuade us to vote. Election season must be here.
One of the most important issues that voters will decide in November is approving our School Bonds. Our schools are our local treasure because they are the center of our communities and hub of so many activities. Cool Spring Elementary holds fond memories for three generations of my family, and it is long past time that the oldest building be replaced and classrooms added to eliminate its multitude of trailers. North and South Iredell High were both built in the 1960s, and Mooresville High was built in the 1940s. All three campuses must replace their auditoriums and add classrooms. Mooresville High, where the structures are very old, needs to replace the gym and cafeteria because they are no longer structurally sound. High schools are the most used of school buildings day in and day out. They wear out.
One of Iredell-Statesville School’s most popular programs is the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. It is past time to move these programs to bigger facilities because every school year, students are placed on a waiting list to enter the program due to building capacity issues. After the new Statesville and Brawley Middle Schools are built, the IB programs will move to their campuses which will increase the number of IB students by 230 per school. These IB programs attract businesses, jobs, and many new folks to our communities.
Mitchell Community College has always trained real people for real jobs. They have the number one nursing program in the state. These nurses are not only sought in our three local hospitals but are valued anywhere they may go in the state. Each year, Mitchell must turn away applicants because their lack of space in their current facilities. Mitchell will build a Health Science Center that will help to increase the nursing slots, CNA’s, med tech, and other health care professionals that are in such high demand.
Several committees met and determined the needs of each school system and both local school boards voted to put these projects by priority on a School Bond referendum. The list was funneled down to the highest priorities and presented to the Board of Commissioners. The County Commissioners voted unanimously to put the bonds on the November ballot. Now, the choice rests with the voters.
Please vote YES and get your family and friends to vote Yes for both bonds.