On Friday, April 16, the Allegan Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to give its support to the Allegan Public Schools’ Bond Proposal on the May 4, 2021 ballot. This is a bold plan, reflecting public input, that addresses the best interests of the students of Allegan Public Schools, area employers, small business owners, and the community at large.
The bond projects will create 21st Century Learning Environments at all grade levels from the Early Childhood Education Center through the High School. The creation of modern, flexible learning spaces – supported by requisite classroom technology – will allow tailoring to suit the curriculum and deliver content to a myriad of student learning styles. It will balance and right-size elementary classrooms. Building improvements will upgrade student/staff safety and security, and address necessary facility infrastructure and maintenance.
The Bond Proposal provides for a sorely-needed Science Wing to be added to the Middle School. This, along with other design considerations at all APS buildings will aid in the delivery of STEM curriculum. More than any tax break or “inexpensive” land deal, STEM creates an available workforce that is of primary consideration when manufacturing site selectors choose locations for investment. A greater focus on STEM programming develops, retains, and attracts talent to an area and is critical in the retention, expansion, and attraction of both existent and future job creators.
Simply stated, this proposal creates a school district that supports the community in a way that young families not only desire for their children but, increasingly, are demanding for their children. Attracting these families to Allegan will increase the APS student census (good for funding), increase property values for homeowners, increase the tax base for public amenities, breathe life into and add participants to recreational programming, while expanding the customer base for local restaurants, retailers, and service providers. This, in turn, is a recruiting tool to attract more businesses to the Downtown Business District and Commerce Corridors approaching the City of Allegan and driving area economic development.
I applaud Mr. Antoine, his staff, and the Allegan Public School Board for its vision of a 21st-century school, and the temerity to pursue it in the best interest of our students. This is crucial investment for the future of Allegan Public Schools and a bellwether for the direction of Allegan.
For our students, our schools, our businesses, and our community, please Vote Yes for APS on May 4.