District seeks public input on facilities plans

FOR ANY ENTERPRISE, ONE key to success is keeping up with changing needs and demands.

That’s true in both the private and the public sector.

And in the public sector, that’s especially true for public school systems.

It’s a never-ending challenge for local school districts to juggle ever-tighter fiscal restraints with ever-increasing demands for better and more varied education for the children who will one day fill the jobs in the area – many of them jobs that aren’t even dreamed of yet.

Here in Sheboygan County, and especially in Plymouth, local school officials and school boards have done an admirable job over the years of meeting that challenge.

In Plymouth, for instance, the district has worked together with local industries, area governments and other schools to provide new means and facilities to educate students in many areas – from technical job training and skills to agriculture and food science education and much more.

Today’s education goes far beyond the traditional ‘Three Rs’ and the needs and demands continue to grow.

Plymouth continues to meet those needs and demands in buildings that, for the most part, are half a century or more old. That only makes the task more daunting.

But district officials and the School Board have recognized that, rather than costly replacements for those facilities, they can best serve both the students they educate and the taxpayers they serve by wisely and smartly upgrading existing facilities.

After long and careful study, the board has settled on a plan of expansion and remodeling they feel will help the district keep up with educational demands for the foreseeable future.

Now they are seeking community input on the proposed $31.9 million in recommended additions and renovations at the high school and Fairview and Parkview elementary schools.

They are seeking input through a community survey mailed out to every household in the district. The survey asks respondents to prioritize and indicate their possible support for the list of projects at each school.

The projects would not only enhance the safety, security, quality and level of education at each school, they would also make them more accessible and usable for the community as a whole, not just for students and staff.

The district would like to have the surveys returned by Nov. 6 (the survey form says Oct. 30, but distribution was delayed by printing issues and the district extended the deadline in order to ensure the greatest possible feedback).

Articles on the considered upgrades were published over the last several weeks in The Review and the issues involved have been covered at various School Board meetings and reports. Further information and answers to questions can be found online at www.plymouth.k12.wi.us/facilities.html.

The investment in the education of our children plays a huge part in all of our lives and futures and pays dividends for the entire community. The more we can ensure that the education we provide will ensure the quality of workers and citizens needed in the future, the better that future will be for all of us.

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