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East Middle School exterior shot

East Middle School is located at 2600 Grand Ave.

Butte's School District is asking Butte citizens for approval of a $35 million bond issue.

We believe the request is worthy of our enthusiastic support.

This amount, which amounts to less than $70 a year for the owner of a $100,000 property — literally pennies a day — represents a sound, much-needed investment in our children and thus the future of our town.

The planned safety improvements to our elementary schools alone would be well worth such an investment, and in today's climate clearly should be done as soon as possible, not strung out over a decade or more.

But in addition, the bond will provide new life and functionality to East Middle School, and we feel making those changes a priority is absolutely vital. All of the district's students funnel through East for those pivotal middle-school years when so much is determined about students' later lives.

East has stood stolid for 61 years, and these upgrades will not only ensure the school's continued service for the next half-century — they will make the school far more effective and secure.

Consider this list of improvements at East that this bond issue will create:

• Build New Science Addition

• Renovate Main Entry Area

• New Life Skills Space

• New Gym, P.E., Weight Room, Locker

Rooms

• Renovate all Restrooms

• New Fire Suppression System

• New Ceilings

• Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing and I.T.

Upgrades (Lighting, Electrical)

• Renovated Art and Family & Consumer

Science (F.A.C.S.)

• Add Multiple Shared Spaces

• Replace Kitchen Equipment

• FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment)

• Renovated Health

• ADA Site Upgrades

• Improve Bus Drop-off

• Asbestos Abatement

None of that vital work will come cheap. All of it is essential to providing the kind of learning opportunities that will allow students to advance and thrive.

Remember, this is the first bond issue proposed by the district in three decades.

This is about our children and their learning tools and environment. It's about securing them a competitive advantage in a hyper-competitive world. And that's priceless.

We urge you to vote yes on this bond issue, and to support its passage in every way possible.

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