For The Daily Item
As a former president of the Lewisburg school board, parent, grandparent, teacher, and active citizen, I am encouraged that the community is considering a new high school again. Education is the most important legacy we can provide our children and an asset which provides dividends as our progeny compete in a complex society.
You have completed a commendable upgrade in your elementary schools. Time passes without a first-class secondary school. The die was cast with the acquisition of land. Still our students have to wait for consensus to move the project.
The current facility could be used as a flexible asset providing a community and arts center. The track can provide parking for activities, this is limited only by our imagination. It can serve all age groups and interests thereby giving yet another source for pride in this unique community. Properly managed this center can be another revenue stream that will perpetuate the lifestyle which is the envy of the area.
It may seem disingenuous to those who remember my past objections for me to advocate a new high school. I was one of the many who rallied around the position that the elementary schools were an immediate priority. As a result we do have an exemplary elementary school venue.
What is different now than 10 years ago: Lewisburg is doing fine. The community can once again afford a major project. Time is critical in providing a first class environment for secondary education. Our society will not wait for us to catch up, we must move now to keep up. No longer is it possible to prosper without a strong academic background. Yes, the trades need people who can comprehend technical manuals, work with computer driven tools and have the savvy to understand the world around us. No longer can we operate in isolation.
Most importantly the opportunity must be made available to every demographic level. Higher learning cannot be left for the wealthy. We can afford to breach the gap which exists in our current educational system, in fact it is our duty. A level playing field will elevate everyone. It will enrich the community and bring prosperity with it.
Pride, adequate educational facilities and providing good community support is possible only by recognizing that our youth are our future.
The future is available to the prepared.
Fort Myers, Fla.