To the voters in the Hall School District:
As a member of the Citizens for a New Hall High School, I've had many opportunities to discuss the referendum with members of our community. Though not all voters are supporting the referendum, the resounding answer I hear is, "Obviously, we need a new school." This comment is generally followed by these arguments: "Why didn't they build the school in 1998 when the cost was $21 million?" or "A good school doesn't equate to a better education." Or "I don't have children or grandchildren who will benefit from a new school."
In 1998, school board members that we spoke with did not believe a referendum would have passed back then. They chose to make renovations, and their decision bought we taxpayers an additional 15 years in the old facility. The current school board is faced with comparable building deficiencies and operational inefficiencies. One major difference and a key factor in moving forward with the referendum at this time: The technology deficiencies of the old school. Think of all the advances in technology — just in the area of communications — since 1998. The Internet barely existed. Laptops and tablets did not. Access to Wi-Fi was not something that was essential to education.
Times have changed; technology is essential for education, and teaching methods are lining up with workplace needs. In the future, not every child will be taught algebra. High schools will be directing efforts toward getting students "work force" ready. The new building plans are aligned with these changes. Vocational programs will be expanded, giving Hall students a leg up when they enter the job market.
I did not graduate from Hall High School, nor do I have children or grandchildren who will benefit from a new school. But, I believe our community will benefit greatly. Initially, new jobs will be created. Educational opportunities for our youngsters — and for future taxpayers — will be enhanced. Newcomers to the Illinois Valley will consider residing in our school district, and the market value of our homes will likely improve.
Hall High School is a focal point of our community. Let's make it a place of which we can all be proud.
I am voting yes on April 9.
Hildi Luther Grivetti