Tuesday is fast approaching, and that day, the voters of North Adams have a critical issue to decide in the special election on the funding for the Conte School Renovation Project.
We have already endorsed the plan to turn Conte into a K-7 elementary school for a variety of reasons - all and more of which are detailed in the myriad letters to the editor we have received on this debate - so we won't tarry there too long in this editorial.
For our part, we ask: What does the city, its residents, and most importantly, its children, gain from the approval of this funding and how do they benefit from its rejection? The answer to the former includes diverse windfalls, including a new $29.7 million school in the heart of the city with the state picking up $23.2 million of the cost. The answer to the latter is dubious at best, with its realities being murky timelines on how long it would take to get back to this step in the state approval process and going back to the drawing board to review other options where the ones identified have already been rejected.
The message we would chiefly like to deliver here today is that every voter in North Adams needs to come out to decide this issue Tuesday.
Don't think that just because you have no children or don't have children attending North Adams schools that this debate does not belong to you. The question of the city's schools still boils down to making the right investment in the city's greatest asset: the children who will become its leaders and thinkers. And so, the question of doing right by them is on the shoulders of all residents because all stand to benefit or suffer because of the strengths or weakness passed on to those future generations by our present actions.
What generations to come will create in this city is hidden still, but what tools they'll have to work with is yours to decide.