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Posted on Jan 20, 2016

‘A vote for our schools is a vote for our community’

By Mike & Kelly Wallace
We want to express our excitement and support for the upcoming bond proposal that will transform our school district. We have both taught in Quincy for more than 22 years while raising our four sons, who were all educated in Quincy schools. There are so many ways our schools shape and define our community. Our local schools provide facilities for many activities important to our community. They host both school and intramural sports, local theater and music events, FCAD, FFA and many other functions. Our schools are truly the hub of our community.
The construction projects that are proposed will provide much-needed additional space for our growing student population and modernize the facilities. We are amazed at what we can get for our money in this bond. George would have eight new classrooms and a new gym; the existing high school would get remodeled and become grades sixth through eighth; the existing junior high, Monument, Pioneer and Mountain View would all become K-5, neighborhood schools, with new gyms added to Pioneer and Mountain View; and a new high school would be built with modern, updated facilities for our kids.
We have heard people ask why we need the gyms at the elementary levels, and it is actually quite crucial. Currently, the gyms also serve as the cafeterias, where students are served breakfast and lunch. With our increasing population, it is difficult to schedule P.E. classes around meals and the clean-up to go along with it. It is also difficult for those teachers to set up activities, tear them down and then re-set after mealtime. In addition, our communities use the gyms heavily. If you’ve ever tried to reserve space in a school gym, performing arts center, library or other space, you know that they are used nearly around the clock. It would be wonderful for community members to have better access to these modern, updated facilities.
We have a unique situation at the moment, one that other communities around us wish they had. Our cost for this bond will be $1.89 per $1,000 of assessed value. The state will provide matching funds of over $10 million. The value of the data centers greatly decreases what homeowners and landowners pay. In fact, the data centers will pick up more than a quarter of the total cost of the bond, or more than $28 million. Because of that, the bond will raise more than five times the amount of the 1998 construction bond used to build Monument Elementary at a lower rate — $1.89 compared to $2.10. This is an incredible value, and the time is right to make this investment in our kids and our community.
Our community is built on farming and agriculture. We know many hard-working people who own land and farms and ranches who are making a strong stand of support when they vote “yes” to this project. The strength of our community depends on the vibrancy of our schools. As parents and community members, we would all feel a huge sense of pride in our community by showing that we value the education of our next generation and the schools that represent us. The signs at the entrance to Quincy promise “Opportunities Unlimited.” We have an opportunity right now to do something great for this town that we love.

Mike and Kelly Wallace are teachers at Quincy High School and the parents of four boys. The Wallace family has lived in the Quincy community for more than two decades.