Pete Bergmann: Vote yes on school measure

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— A strong educational system is the foundation of a strong community.

I am proud to have lived in Craig and raised my family in Moffat County for the past 30 years. I began my teaching career in 1977 as a high school science teacher in what is now the Craig Middle School.

The community of Craig was booming. There were classes being taught in modulars. The facility was packed.

There was a need for a new high school at the top of Finley Lane. Moffat County High School was built with money from the 1978 bond election and was the pride of Moffat County and the envy of all Western Slope communities. School district taxpayers have been debt free since 1995 when the bonds were fully paid off.

Today, 30 years later, there is again need to upgrade our schools to meet the new challenges of the 21st century, extend the life of our facilities, and make our schools safer and more energy efficient.

Historically, every time the school district has justified the need, the citizens of Moffat County have come through with the approval of modest tax increases to support the strong tradition of quality schools.

Our aging facilities are in dire need of repair, renovation, and safety and energy efficient upgrades. Our 60-year-old middle school has seen its better day. After many months of public discussion and feedback, the Moffat County School District has decided to place a referendum on this November's ballot to:

• Repair our school facilities to extend the life of the buildings and reduce energy and maintenance costs by upgrading heating ventilation and lighting and replacing roofs where needed

• Increase safety by constructing secure entrances at each building, along with bringing fire-protection systems up to code

• Upgrade our technology infrastructure and replace outdated classroom computers

• Construct new classrooms and other educational spaces at Craig Middle School to improve the educational facility, while preserving existing auditorium, gym and shop areas

• Renovate and retrofit the existing Craig Intermediate School campus and the three existing elementary schools to include preschool through fifth grade.

On Nov. 6, question 3A will ask voters to approve a $29.5 million dollar bond for our kids and our community. A $5 a month increase in property taxes on a typical home in Craig is a reasonable price to pay for high-quality schools.

With growing tourism, recreation in the area, and a vibrant energy economy at our door step, we are at the brink of tremendous opportunity to live, work, play and educate our children in the best community on the Western Slope. Believe in a better Moffat County and support our kids and our community. Vote YES on 3A. It is the right investment. Now.

Pete Bergmann, superintendent

Moffat County School District

Comments

Taylor 7 years, 3 months ago

Challenges of the 21st Century? Growing tourism? Don't you mean challenges of a growing illegal population? Do our schools really need the money for all the things you listed, or just more interpreters?

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