To the editor:

"That the school buildings are needed is acknowledged with the common consent of the most informed residents. And yet there are many who claim that the tax rate of the city is too high already and that improvements should wait until a later day." Sound familiar? This is actually a quotation taken from an Owatonna resident back in 1919 from the newspaper. Thank goodness our forefathers had the belief that even though times were tough and it is never a good time to raise taxes, they did. The 1921 building was a result of foresight and sacrifice from those that had little (far less than we have today) but knew the importance of providing their children and grandchildren with quality schools and a quality education.

Reality is that our children will be competing with students from all over the world for their future careers. Do we want to provide them with the best opportunity to succeed? If you say yes then the current facility is not be able to do that. Not all students go to college. The trades are in such great need for our young people. We need a high school that can provide them with modern equipment and technology to prepare them for those excellent careers in the trades.

Another consideration before you cast your ballot is the fact that our current teacher faculty will eventually move on or retire. The decaying facility we have today will not attract the high-caliber teacher that we have been so lucky to have. If that happens, we will have an even bigger problem to deal with.

Owatonna is a prideful community. A nearly 100-year-old high school that we house our children, our teachers and our future is not a part of that. Other communities, many smaller than ours have voted yes to addressing their out dated high schools. The time is now to provide a long-term solution just like our forefathers did. Join me in voting Yes!

Bob Rinaldi

Owatonna

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at jjackson@owatonna.com

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