Ray Martinez: Positive change OK | SteamboatToday.com

Ray Martinez: Positive change OK

How many times recently have you thought, “Gee, I sure wish I could go to the old hospital to have my medical procedure with their outdated equipment. At least it’s downtown?’”

We haven’t heard anybody say, “I really hate this library. It’s just too beautiful.” How about, “I’d never drive a mile or two to the Community Center. It’s west of town?’”

The downtown courthouse was moved west of town when it was outgrown and outdated. Can you imagine a student or teacher who would regret spending a class hour in a technologically updated and space appropriate room?

Hey folks, positive change is often good.

We are at a fork in the road for planning the future of Steamboat’s schools. We can look to make repairs and changes that are upgrades and provide for future educational programs and population growth or we can go down the path of paralysis by fear of change. We can be guided by emotions or by facts.

At the risk of confusing anybody with bond election facts, the following are a few simple ones:

■ The high school will not cost $92 million dollars. That figure reflects required maintenance on all existing buildings, bringing them up to current program standards, updating the buildings to new proposed configurations and acquiring land for a fourth elementary school in the future.

■ The cost of traffic modifications required for access to the new high school is already included in the bond.

■ We lose the real estate contract on the best affordable and available property for solving challenges in schools at all levels if the bond is not passed.

■ Demographic studies since 2006 have predicted our current space deficiencies. In addition, modernized educational programs and technology require improved teaching facilities. This is addressed in a comprehensive, long-term, 265-page master plan that openly lays out the facts for those who want to be informed.

■ Steamboat’s vision for affordable housing in which children would live is west of town.

■ There is no other affordable plan that even begins to address the current and future educational concerns of Steamboat Springs for the good of the students, teachers, families and community.

Misconceptions and emotions are contagious and lead to fear and paralysis. Facts are enduring and should be the basis for every vote cast. We are at a crossroads in Steamboat, and the facts speak for themselves.

“Papa” Ray Martinez

Steamboat Springs, CO

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