I have spent the past six years serving area college students in the physical manifestation of a community vision that came to fruition over 40 years ago.
Back then, our community had no comprehensive resource for delivering technical education to area students. Our community decided that we needed a place where we could train a skilled workforce. Thus, the Vo-Tech was born. Built by the community, for the community, with contributions from the local school districts, it stands today as a testament to what this community can do when it puts its mind to it. Like the barn raising of the past, when neighbors would come together to help each other and, by proxy, themselves, this community came together to fill a need that continues to serve us today. Many renovations, expansions, and continued investments later, that resource has expanded to become Southwest Colorado Community College, now offering post-secondary college options to area students, alongside the technical programs that served as its foundation.
If our community truly values education, and I know that we do, then we should be willing to invest in a building that is conducive to learning. Our younger community members deserve a school that provides current technology in a safe and healthy environment, giving them the advantage that students in more affluent areas benefit from. We know that our entire community benefits when we invest in education. We should invest in it now, while the price is right.
A new building will not solve all of our problems. There is still work to be done and issues to address. But I dont see the value of a student sitting in a freezing room day after day, distracted by physical discomfort, even if Socrates himself is teaching Philosophy 101. Im confident that our school administration and community wont stop here. We are investing in and valuing our community. 3B is not the end - its only the beginning of what feels like a renaissance in all areas of our community.
Lets raise a barn together.