I am writing to speak in favor of the Hendrick Hudson School District’s upcoming Bond Proposition’s immeasurable benefit to our community.
As a member of the Board of Education for ten years and parent in the community for 25, I have long envisioned such a project--waiting for what seemed like forever for the timing to be right.
To the importance of the Performing Arts Center - I remember graduations at the VA Hospital, and the panic that followed when it was no longer available. I remember high school performances of Broadway quality musicals where community members were actually TURNED AWAY for lack of seating. I remember sitting on strategic planning action teams, envisioning community-wide expositions and performances designed to bring our diverse and often divided schools together – but without the space to do so, the dream stayed just that. Imagine the value to our entire community a Performing Arts Center would bring.
As for athletics, we are in the vast minority of county districts without artificial turf fields and our ability to compete, not to mention safeguard our students depends on moving ahead in this area.
And to science and technology, this is our opportunity to distinguish ourselves among other districts as a center of excellence, taking advantage of the rich local resources that make us perfect for that designation.
I realize these are difficult economic times, and there are many who struggle to keep roofs over their heads and food in their mouths. Their struggle is all our struggles and their needs should always be foremost in our minds and hearts. In the same breath, unless we build for a future, remain hopeful, continue to grow and expand, we run the risk of letting our students and community down.
I recently heard that some of my “empty nest” peers are against the project, feeling the “time is not right” and the vision is too grand. To those whose children already graduated and “did well enough” with what they had, I suggest you think about who you hope will buy your homes when your own retirement comes. Even from a selfish stand point, this is the best “bang for our buck”, and will open our community to newcomers who will see our district as exemplary and want to move in.
We are now at a crossroads between stagnation and progress. We need to choose to move our district forward and show we are committed to progress and innovation. And we need to remember to not be short sighted in keeping our community a great place to raise and educate our children.
In the words of one of our belief statements in our district’s strategic plan, a blueprint for growth so many of us poured our hearts and souls into, we must make real the statement ‘We believe that all people have the ability to surpass their perceived limits.’