I support “A Place to Play” at the Ridgway Secondary School for many reasons. One main concern, I don’t have a music classroom or suitable performing arts facility to teach my middle school/high school band and choir classes at R.S.S. We have been busing sixth-12th grade R.S.S. students to their music, physical education and drama classes at Ridgway Elementary for the past two years, going on three years. Busing middle/high school students to R.E.S. isn’t a sustainable way to enrich the students’ education in music, p.e. and drama. With community support we could spend our school dollars on a new gym and music room at R.S.S., which would be wiser than spending it on increased fuel costs, driver salaries and added road maintenance.
During a 90-minute class period, I am averaging 60 minutes of teaching time. Each time students are bused from R.S.S. to R.E.S. thirty minutes of class-time is sacrificed on bus travel time. Sometimes, more time is lost due to inclement weather and schedule conflicts. From a teacher standpoint, it is very frustrating to lose classroom time, and to not be part of the heart of the school, the student body.
You may know, steel and material costs sky-rocketed at the time of construction of R.S.S., hence, the decision was made to go ahead with construction, and not build the gym to stay within budgetary constraints.
What is missing from R.S.S.? “A Place to Play!” We need a gym for physical education, sports, to include a climbing wall, weight room, space for assemblies, and a gym to share with the community. We need a music room for our bands, choirs, guitar and piano students, and drum ensembles. A music room is acoustically designed for rehearsals and performances for music classes, speech/drama, guest performers, master classes, and community events. Plans are currently being implemented to improve the performing arts space in the commons area to make it acoustically desirable for performing. The current band room at R.E.S. will become the perfect classroom for the elementary music teacher, instead of her current, small classroom. A gym and music room at R.S.S. will save money and provide more classroom time for each school.
Voters can support a bond proposal to aid in the construction of a gym and music/performing arts room on the upcoming November ballot. More good news: your support will allow the school to maintain the current mil levy (not to increase the mil levy); an average cost per household will be around $35/year (approximately $2.92/month). Thanks to the fundraising efforts lead by Kelly Hagemeyer, committee members and students, they raised more than $696,000. A $480,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs was approved for this project contingent on the passing of the ballot issue 3B. To understand what’s at stake, attend the public forum on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m. at the Ridgway Secondary School.
– Kathryn Kubinyi, R.S.S. Music Teacher