My Beautiful Struggle + [time]

Yes, and...

If I lived in the Ridgemont school district, I would undoubtedly vote yes on the levy for the new building. I've had my reservations before (more observations, than anything) in regards to schools needing new buildings, but every time I return to Tom-from-the-Suit-Store's comment that he "will never vote no on education." Our educational system obviously has many flaws, but holding back from the kids will not provide solutions. Instead, we need to invest more into providing opportunities for young people to become innovative creators and contributors to society (ahem, enter the ARTS). Not to mention, this was posted on FB today:

This is the "classroom" for the early intervention specialist at the high school. Well, his morning room. In the afternoon he gets the music room (which I'm sure is filled with all the supplies he needs... like, tables?). As the parent of children who possibly could be involved with intervention services, I don't really like the looks of this. *Slightly unrelated but parallel side story: this classroom belongs to a classmate of mine. He returned to the district and chose to invest his time and energies into his hometown. He's among many other "lifers" at Ridgemont, who tend to be some of the most effective, highly impacting teachers. At least, in my experience (like Burrey, Ealy and France for myself and I've heard Robinson, Galyk, Stuck, Craig-Stuck and Craig-Thompson are strong supporting examples.) I can see this has its own separate post brewing.

That being said - Vote Yes! - if I were in the district, I would like a Yes, And. Yes, let's build a new building with the resources teachers and students need. And with the old buildings, we can [insert ideas to grow and benefit the supportive community]. Let's employ those creative, resourceful juices. I've been very into "repurposing" lately and what an opportunity ahead of us. Of course, it's more costly to repair the building to fit to a code on par with educational standards. But could the building efficiently be repaired to the point of housing other entities? (Honest, not accusatory question here). I know of old schools converted into retreat centers (Lewistown/Indian Lake), hospitals turned office space supplemental educational areas (Troy) and a deserted mall turned into a church (Mars Hill, Grand Rapids, MI). What could we do with these resources that could benefit the district and county? Job training center? Rehabilitation services (because there are Drugs Bring Death signs everywhere in the county)? Perhaps there's a way we can utilize our space, physical resources, bring jobs and support and encourage the people who have helped fund it.

I know.... all those ideas involve money, which typically translates into taxes, which is yet another reason people might vote no. So let's do more creative thinking, eh? We have a fantastic university within our county limits - how could it be put into play? And these are questions that are likely beyond Ridgemont administrators and BOE (so don't hold it against them in your vote). But that's where it's great to be a part of a small community. Folks know folks and have good hearts and desire to see their homeland grow and develop and provide. Business owners and investors exist in our midst, especially for the next brilliant idea. Yes, And isn't another challenge for Ridgemont administrators, it's call for community leaders to rise up and contribute. And let's do it with as few committee meetings as possible. Those tend to squelch things.

A new building will aid in the development and education of the district's young people. So will showing them what it means to employ creative thinking in business and opportunity development. Let's show them how to look around them and say, "now, what can I do with this?"