Girard school levy is an investment in the future

Girard school levy is an investment in the future
The Girard High School has served us well, but it is time to face facts. In this day and age, education has advanced to the use of portable computers, expandable networking, and interactive video. Our current facility is 83 years old and still uses steam heat with the old fashioned registers -- the natural gas cost was 75,000 last year. It doesn't even have a sprinkler system. It simply cannot support these technological advances.
It is no longer cost effective to put any more money into this structure. Yes, there have been improvements made to the high school. There are no plans to demolish the gymnasiums. As a matter of fact, the only debt the schools have is Girard Intermediate School and we are paying less millage than it was originally passed because they refinanced the loan.
We are given the opportunity to purchase 23 acres of land for 200,000. That is a great price. And the state of Ohio is paying 80 percent of the cost to build the building, which amounts to a 20 million infusion into our community. In the current climate of political change the money from the state could disappear tomorrow -- they are not going to have this money for much longer. What happens when the school becomes inhabitable? Parts of the ceiling have already begun to fall. We will then be forced to do something and we will have to pay 100 percent of the cost.
I have heard some people say they are voting no because they do not like the board, the superintendent or even the mayor, but is that any reason to punish our children? Our schools have been rated excellent, so they must be doing something right. Our children have been making due with what they've got, but they cannot continue to do this much longer.
I have also heard some people say we are being asked to pay the same amount as the last 4.9 levy, and this is simply not the case. The last levy was 10 million for just the property and the school. They would have had a second levy to either build a new stadium or repair the old one. Total project would have been at least 13 million. With this levy, we are paying 9 million for the school and the stadium.
Anyone can see that our stadium (built in 1932) is in need of some serious renovations. We will have to pay for these sooner or later (at an even higher cost). The artificial turf is needed so that we can diversify our sports program (not everyone plays football). This will allow for more usage by the student body. The regular sod field becomes unsafe by the end of the season and cannot hold up under all that extra usage. This was what other high schools are moving towards because it just makes sense.
Yes, area businesses are downsizing and citizens are on fixed budgets. But does that mean we should stop planning for the future? We have to have a plan for the future so that the next generation can use their knowledge and revive our area.
The average house valued at 75,000 to 100,000 would incur an increase of about 8 to 11 per month. Imagine the sacrifice, relatively speaking, our previous generations made to build the original school. They did it so that their children and their children's children could have better lives. Their priority was the future.
Please vote yes, not just for our children but for our community.
The church is changing
Pope Benedict XVI will soon appoint several new bishops. This will go down in history when great changes will take place.
We here in Youngstown should feel honored by his appointment of our new bishop. I'm sure all of them have read the Pope's first Encyclical, "Deus caritas est" on love. This will be the cornerstone for the new pope and his new bishops. Become informed and know what going on. You can get it on the Web and also at the public library.
It's time Roman Catholics take a look at themselves and respect God's house by proper dress at mass. He deserves our best, not casual or jeans. We should get ready and invite those who left the church to return.
Villa Marie, Pa.