Letter: Time for improvements at Basalt schools

My name is Judi Simecek. I support 3B, and I hope that all Roaring Fork Valley residents will do the same. I have two daughters who have both been in Basalt schools since kindergarten. My oldest graduated in May, and my youngest is currently a freshman at Basalt High School.

My kids have thrived in the Basalt schools. We love that the entire community supports the schools for concerts, parades and sporting events. But the middle school was built in 1974, and it shows. In addition to improving the safety, energy efficiency and lighting, the bond also would support a new auditorium, which we really need. The small auditorium serves all three of the schools, and it’s just not big enough. We have the strongest middle and high school band program in the valley, and because of its popularity, every band concert is standing-room only. Let’s show our kids that we also support and believe in them enough to invest in their safety and well-being.

Despite the crumbling infrastructure, our teachers are what make the Basalt schools exceptional. I listened to one teacher explain that the thrill she gets from teaching can be likened to the adrenaline rush that some people get from exercise. They truly love their jobs, and it shows. We all know housing in the valley is challenging and expensive. Building affordable housing for our teachers would help us keep these talented, dedicated professionals in our communities.

The district facilities plan was composed of various community members from all three towns, and planned improvements for each school have been careful, deliberate and well-planned. There is no wasteful spending.

We have great schools in Basalt despite the fact that they take place in old, high-maintenance, quirky, leaking, overcrowded buildings. Strong schools make strong communities. I’m asking everyone to invest in our kids, invest in our teachers and invest in our schools. Please vote “yes” on 3B.

Judi Simecek