The upcoming referendum vote in District 207 is about a choice on the type of schools the community wants for the future, specifically related to updating old schools, increasing safety and security, and improving learning environments for students.
Many of the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems at our schools are at the end of their useful life. Due to the district's diligence, we have stretched these systems years beyond their expected capacity.
Maine East opened in 1930, Maine West in 1959 and Maine South in 1964. While the district has put more than $60 million into facility upgrades and replacement of failing systems over the past 11 years, that kind of yearly investment is not enough to keep up with demand of older buildings that cover nearly 1.5 million square feet.
Safety and security is at the forefront of this ballot question. None of our three buildings currently have secured entrances -- a standard for nearly every school in this area.
The referendum funds would address another safety concern by eliminating the need for students to walk outside in between classes by building hallways at Maine South and Maine West to connect isolated sections of each school to the rest of the building.
Finally, the learning environment for students would be improved. Our schools were all built in the industrial school model that was designed to sort and select students -- but today's ideal school model is designed to support every student to be his or her best.
What we are doing in District 207 is progressive and requires different spaces to achieve our goals fully.
I encourage all voters to learn more about the referendum at www.maine207.org prior to the vote on Nov. 6.
Superintendent Ken Wallace
Maine Township High School District 207