To The Herald-Whig:
Throughout Quincy's history, we've prided ourselves on being a center of educational excellence. A successful outcome of the Quincy Public Schools' rebuilding referendum will help our chance to reaffirm our commitment to an educated city.
Over the next 20 years, Quincy can spend $67 million on mandatory upgrades to our existing buildings, some more than 100 years old, not ADA compliant and inadequate space for today's learning needs. We also have the option to build five new elementary schools and upgrade our high school at a cost of $89 million.
At first glance, renovation seems like a better option, but it ignores the following:
In the next two decades, QPS would save $11.2 million in operational costs and over $20 million in educational expenses by building new schools.
QPS would reduce student transitions by switching to a K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade model. QPS is currently the only district in Illinois with a grade 7-9 junior high.
Renovations would only last us 20 years, thus guaranteeing our children will be having this same conversation when interest rates will most likely be higher and cost to build new buildings will be more expensive.
Besides the positive impact to our school district, the $89 million worth of construction dollars spent would be a boom for Quincy's economy. According to the IMPLAN method, the project would equate to the creation of 742 construction jobs and 768 indirect jobs from money being spent on building supplies and from food and entertainment dollars spent by laborers in our community.
We enjoy a wonderful quality of life today in Quincy, thanks to the vision of those who came before us. Our forefathers gave us our scenic parks, our world-class airport, our historic Maine Street and so much more. Let us be the generation that invests in our schools and in our children.
Join me in voting "yes" for the bonding referendum. It's not only the right decision, it's the right choice to ensure a better Quincy for generations to come.
Mayor Kyle A. Moore