Dear Editor,

The Almont School Bond is currently under consideration. The previous administration proposed a $72 million package. The current proposal is approximately $58 million.

I believe there is a general agreement on the maintenance and infrastructure improvements desperately needed to our facilities.

One major concern is the construction of an activity center–field house as part of the bond package.

Some are concerned the field house is too expensive and unnecessary and that it will bring traffic congestion to Almont. But there are many reasons the field house is worth it. From a student and educational perspective, the field house will provide additional space and much-needed facilities for music performances, robotics, STEM and athletics to name a few. All of which are key components of a well-rounded education.

The field house can also be a revenue-generating opportunity for the District. It can be rented out to host a variety of events. Travel activities are a huge part of our children’s lives today. The field house will allow us to capture some of the revenue we are spending elsewhere. Check out the Total Sports facility in nearby Washington MI and The Legacy Center in the Lake School District to get some perspective on that possibility.

The use of solar power is also part of the field house. This technology is projected to offset many of the maintenance and staffing costs of the facility.

Possible increases in traffic and families moving into our district are all possible benefits of a successful bond. Some residents see this as detrimental, but increases revenues will help the district AND local business.

So again, I think we all agree on the urgent need for facility upgrades and maintenance in our district. I have had four children come through the schools in the last 20 years and six grandchildren coming through in the next 20—as the saying goes, I have skin in the game also.

This is my perspective, sure to generate more discussion, which is good! IT will be a yes vote from me on election day.

— Tom Schoen Sr.