The Ridgway Schools Board of Education, Superintendent Douglas Bissonette and likely the majority of the parents and students in the district, think they deserve a new gymnasium to the tune of $2 million.
Wait, there’s more. They also want a new music room, but that’s included in that $2 million. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the $2 million isn’t coming from a mill levy, it isn’t coming – for now, anyway – from a “big-shot donor,” nor from a grant (as of yet), but rather from a good ol’ fashion grassroots fundraising campaign. You know the kind: “Get out your pen and cut me a check…come on, you know you want to, it’s for a good cause.”
Well, I have to admit that’s one of the best things I think this town could ever do to support its athletic programs and budding musicians, who spend the entire school year being bused (wasting valuable time and money) back and forth from campus to campus.
Dale Hagemeyer couldn’t have said it better at a June 4 gym funding meeting: “Some people in town didn’t even know we didn’t have a gym at the new school.”
There’s no better way to bring a community together than through hard-working citizens raising the funds themselves. That way, you feel you earned it and it wasn’t a gift.
Sure, the existing gymnasium over at the elementary school is a feasible solution, but there’s just something missing. It’s odd walking up to the beautiful new secondary school on the north end of town and not seeing a gym. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming anyone. Things happen, and maybe things transpired this way for a reason. Maybe it’s a subliminal way of bringing the town together.
I for one am totally behind this “hitting the streets” fundraising effort. I had conversations with both Bissonette and board of education member Don Batchelder last week and told them The Ouray County Watch is here to get the word out.
I’m an advocate of sports and I have a stake in this, too. Although my son is only 4 and my daughter is 2, it’s their future I’m thinking about as well. After all, hopefully my son will be playing middle school basketball games in a state-of-the-art gymnasium in eight years.
So please, get out your checkbook and donate a few dollars. You can even cut out a donation form from page 10 and mail to the school district, putting a mark on your share of a new gymnasium. It is truly for a good cause.