Communities dedicated to children, future of schools

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tuesday night, the majority of Dowagiac voters who showed up to the polls voted in favor of improving the future of not only the students in their school districts, but the future of the community as a whole.

Echoing the campaign slogan and much of the strategy Niles Community Schools used for the May election, the Dowagiac district successfully passed two bond proposals that will fund renovations, safety improvements, upgraded technology and a better heating and cooling system. Unlike the Niles bond, all of the buildings that currently house Dowagiac schools will remain standing, but some will undergo major renovations.

Neither race had a great percentage of voters weigh in on the proposals at the polls, and both races were very close, but in the end the majority of voters opted to invest in the future, and we wholeheartedly support their decisions.

With the improvements both districts will be undergoing in the next several years, students will likely face some challenges as certain parts of buildings are blocked off during construction, and school leaders in both communities face a long process of decisions to make, but in the end, we have no doubt the hard work will all be worth it.

With new technology, we can be sure our students are learning at a higher level, better preparing them for their futures.

With safety improvements planned, we can rest a little easier knowing our children are being protected adequately during the school day.

And with improved facilities, we’ll know our students will be more capable of focusing on their studies without the distraction of being too cold, too hot or facing other challenges tied to aging buildings.

In past bond efforts, various members of the community have resisted aesthetic change to the school districts, voting down bond proposals that they felt were meant to simply beautify the buildings. But with more attractive facilities, residents will have more to show off to tourists. Families looking to relocate are more likely to choose school districts with better-looking buildings than those that look rundown.

When bond issues are proposed to voters, there are two important questions that they must consider before casting their ballots

First, are these changes necessary for our students to get the best possible education?

And second, are the changes proposed worth the amount suggested we invest in our community?

Much like the slogans in both elections, voters in both Niles and Dowagiac responded, “yes, yes” to these questions, and in five years when construction is complete, we think the community as a whole will be echoing their sentiments.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.