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posted: 3/22/2017 1:00 AM

Endorsement: Yes to upgrade schools and equipment in Diamond Lake Elementary District 76

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Some days, the principal of Diamond Lake School says, students have to be sent outside for gym class because the school's inefficient heating system leaves the 1940s-era gymnasium too hot to use. The school's basement includes an aging boiler and pipes encased in asbestos. Other schools in Diamond Lake Elementary District 76 have developed similar problems over the years. Administrators have tried to deal with issues depending on their urgency and the availability of funds, but the need has grown so great that a broad solution can no longer be put off. Officials have reviewed several options, and they've found that the most economical alternative is to modernize the school buildings and upgrade equipment to meet their mechanical needs at a total cost of $11.4 million. The total can be achieved without an increase in residents' tax bills, if they are willing to forego slight reductions that are scheduled to occur as existing bond measures get paid off. It's a reasonable plan, developed with economy in mind and designed to address serious needs. We recommend voters say yes to the improvements.

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