On Nov. 2 residents have an opportunity to support the Edgewood-Colesburg Community School District in addressing a number of facility needs.

On the ballot are two bond issue questions that, if approved, would allow the district to make upgrades to its elementary school mechanical and HVAC systems, while also adding career and technical education spaces to the high school. The HVAC system is nearing the end of its lifespan. Many times, Ed-Co has needed to dismiss students early due to extreme heat in the building which impacts student learning.

In addition, the career and technical education spaces are more than 50 years old and there is a chronic workforce shortage. New spaces will provide greater opportunities for students to learn skilled trades so when they graduate, they are ready to enter the workforce.

There would also be upgrades to accessibility and to safety and security, including improvements to traffic flow and drop-off/pick-up areas.

Two approved questions would also lead to the building of a new competition gym. The school district’s two gyms are older and smaller than most competitive facilities in the area. Ed-Co is lacking the space necessary for teams to practice and compete at a level comparable to other schools our size.

It’s important to note that even though you will see $4.05 on the ballot, that will not represent the impact you’ll see on your property tax bill. The district is shifting some of the burden from property taxes to income taxes. Ed-Co can raise the income surtax rate to generate more dollars from the surtax, which will mean less property tax. That’s why the levy rate increase would be $2.

We truly hope you will consider voting yes on both questions. It is now our turn to give present and future students every educational opportunity to learn in a 21st-century environment. Think where we would be if not for the fortitude and vision of the past patrons of the Ed-Co district.