Letter to the Editor

This February we have the opportunity to vote Yes on a bond that will reshape not just the face of Roland-Story schools, but of the city itself.

Since moving to Roland in 2000, I have come to love how the schools are at the heart of the community.

School events bring together multiple generations, all focused around their Norsemen Pride. They also bring in thousands of people from outside our community as they descend upon Story City for athletic events, music festivals, etc.

Unfortunately, our current facilities do not reflect the pride we have for our children and our community. Fair or not, many judge communities based on the face they see. When teams travel here, they are greeted by the gigantic eyesore of an abandoned outlet mall, and then arrive at a field with no parking, insufficient seating, and no locker rooms. During theatrical productions, my own mother often complains she misses over half the dialogue because of dated sound gear.

Prospective families moving to the area see the same things. Ballard, North Polk, Nevada, Ames and Gilbert all have dazzling new facilities. It’s not nice to think about, but we need to compete. Perception becomes reality, and if we are perceived as not supporting our schools, young families will choose other options.

Voting Yes transforms the face of Story City. And that’s scary, and even a little sad for us. But it’s not for us — it’s for our children, and for their children, and for the children who haven’t even moved here yet but who would add to this vibrant community.

With a senior daughter and a freshman son, my kids will see little to none of these facilities, but they’ll know we support them and have taken proactive steps to foster the community we so love.

James Webb