OUR VIEW: Support Firelands now or pay later, your choice

It’s a bad deal: Spend $29.5 million to get $6 million.

But it’s the only deal in town.

We see no ethical, responsible choice other than to support Issue 22, which would fund construction of a new sixth-through-12th grade Firelands school building.

It will be costly. It will take an entire generation of residents to pay off. It will hurt.

But let’s look at the alternatives.

South Amherst Middle School isn’t going to fix itself, and will only become more of a sinkhole for taxpayers. It’s a money pit. While living in a 105-year-old home is any history-lover’s dream, keeping a 105-year-old school in viable shape for the business of learning is another matter altogether.

We can’t expect kids to succeed in a building where science classrooms don’t have water, where floors are worn so thin that a chair can fall through, where the basketball court cannot be resurfaced again because there is no more wood left under the veneer, where students with disabilities cannot navigate an entire wing.

When we as adults are asked to succeed at work, we’re expected to be given the proper tools to do so. If we vote down Issue 22, we’ll continue to ask Firelands students to meet high expectations while simultaneously telling them they are not worth our investment.

If voters do not act now, we foresee a situation where the Firelands Schools — despite having a great academic program — will no longer have the physical ability to be a viable school district.

And that will cost us even more in the long run.