To the editor:

The significance of the Nov. 5 vote on the bond for a new OHS is far more critical, in my opinion, than just the need to rectify the many deficiencies in our 100-year-old facility.

The shortcomings of our current high school have been well defined, analyzed and communicated. We are not voting on wants. We are voting on significant needs. And many of those needs have been addressed by the school facilities in the surrounding communities within easy commuting distance of Owatonna. We need to look better than we are to those families considering a relocation into or out of our community.

But the bigger story to the vote is really defining who Owatonna wants to be and will be in the many years ahead. With the perspective of a 70-plus-year resident of Owatonna, I believe we have lost some of the luster and attractiveness that has been Owatonna’s hallmark since my younger days. Owatonna was the envy and epitome of a well-respected and vibrant outstate community that effectively attracted and retained solid businesses and industries that brought citizens, employees and community leaders of all skill sets to make this a great town and provided nicely for the financial and well-being of their families.

As much as some folks will challenge the need of a modern and progressive high school to restore Owatonna’s image and attractiveness to the vibrant, competitive community we need to be, a yes vote is essential to the future of our students' career preparation and community vitality. Status quo is not what we want for an image, nor is it what current and potential businesses expect.

Larry Haberman

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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