SPRING VALLEY — When the Citizens for a New Hall High School group needed some professional help in getting the $32 million referendum passed for a new building, it turned to someone with a little experience in getting things done.
In July 2012, Hugo Heredia of IN Visual Technologies in Spring Valley created videos for DePue that helped the village keep its annual boat races. The videos posted on Facebook and YouTube, showed the desperate nature of the situation, and helped spread the word about the problem in time to get the problem resolved.
On Thursday, Heredia said he was asked by the group for some help in creating a video about bad conditions at Hall to show the need for a new school building.
“I am excited about the potential of what it can do to help get voters to see and understand,” Heredia said.
Heredia said the DePue video played an important role in getting the problem resolved.
“People watching the videos, sharing the videos, liking the videos, liking the Facebook page and visiting the website and all that really played a large part,” he said.
The videos saw so much traffic that The Weather Channel took notice, and interviewed DePue Village President Eric Bryant over Skype at the IN Visual studio.
“I watched something incredible happen, and it wasn’t because of the video I took,” Heredia said. “It was mostly because of the people that were involved constantly wanting to see the videos and sharing them. It was a community effort.”
Now Heredia hopes another video will create a groundswell of support for the new high school.
Heredia said the group is in the process of creating a priority list of things they want included in the video.
“Then we’ll determine, based on the length, what goes in the video after that,” he said.
Heredia has recommended the video be no longer than five minutes, which isn’t a lot of time for including all the necessary information. But he believes five minutes is the best length for keeping people’s attention and guaranteeing plenty of views.
Heredia said the video will show factual evidence of the physical problems at Hall, and be easy for viewers to share with their friends.
While the video will also be shown at other times, it’s going to be the presence of the video on social media that will attract younger voters, Heredia said.
“These are the ones that are thinking about families, that are just now getting married, that are going to begin having kids,” he said.
Heredia has already toured Hall High School, and is an ardent supporter for the new building, particularly with construction beginning soon on the new addition at John F. Kennedy Elementary School.
“We are going to have a junior high now that’s going to be able to facilitate a higher level of education,” he said.
If the students are stimulated by the advanced learning environment at the new school, and then have to go to Hall, which doesn’t have the same capabilities, there are going to be problems.
“We need to make sure that our educational system for our kids is benefiting them and not just a building where they get to go sit for a whole day,” he said. “It’s beneficial to carry that type and that level of education on to their high school years.”
Heredia said he doesn’t mind the tax increase because the money will be spent on something the community needs.
“When you give a kid a good education, they feel more confident, and there’s where you’re going to get your entrepreneurs and your small business makers and your shakers and movers of the future,” he said. “If we have the right facilities for our kids to go to school in, that’s just going to benefit everybody.”
Heredia said a new school will also be an attraction for both new residents and new businesses, and he hopes his video will do justice to the problem so that voters support the referendum.
“It’s an all-around win-win situation,” he said. “If people can just look beyond the tax part of it, they’ll understand that this is money well-spent.”
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