Driving around our community, one can see significant changes on our school campuses with new buildings and renovated structures. At this moment, if one drives by the Willie J. Williams Middle School, he will notice a very large project (a new school) being built.

This new school construction around the county is part of a multi-year, multi-phased facelift and replacement of our educational physical properties. The projects are a mega-millions endeavor and most of it comes from Special Local Option Sales Tax receipts.

When all is completed, our community can be proud that we have faced the future in this regard and made such an investment, which basically is an investment in our most valuable natural resources — our children.

And as proud as we can be of these improvements, there are lessons to be learned from such a massive physical overhaul. That lesson is to keep our system in good repair as we go instead of allowing a mass deterioration that requires such a large project that may equate to a blunt force trauma in local economic analyses.

For many of us, this will not be a major concern in our life times. But for our children and those who follow us, they will appreciate that we become better stewards in this venue than we once were.

Often when we talk of school improvements and improvements in education, we hear a refrain that we are “throwing money at the problems.” Well, the fact is, when it comes to physical plants, money must be applied because facilities do deteriorate and become less functional than growth requires. Therefore the fiscal investment becomes a matter of when and how much. And again, the key is all about our consistent and persistent stewardship.

We can be proud that we have met the challenge of our youngsters’ futures in the realm of public education facilities. That pride must become a tandem with a resolve to keep on a maintenance course that will not again require such total overhaul in such massive new construction and renovation.

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