Elma students deserve a place to dream

Think about your high school stadium. The Eagles have bleachers in a field.

Think back to your high school days.

(If you’re reading editorials, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve taken at least a high school English class or four.)

As you look back, try to ignore the awkwardness, anxiety and that one person you’re sure never liked you.

Do you remember dreams you had?

What did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor? An astronaut? A teacher like your mom? A star athlete?

High school is a time where dreams begin to be overtaken by reality. The reality in Elma probably isn’t nearly as nice as your memories. Today, the Elma School District does not have a stadium. All they have is bleachers in a field.

Our community’s children deserve better. That’s why we’re asking you to vote for the $5.53 million bond so the Elma School District can build a new stadium.

It makes sense that the voters rejected the school’s proposals to build a stadium down by the elementary school. (Four times.) Good for you. A high school stadium should be beside the high school.

The district listened to the voters.

This time, they want the stadium closer to home. Plus, it’s the least expensive bond yet, by more than $1.3 million.

The site they picked, home of the school’s current track, isn’t ideal, but the district will make the most of what they have.

“This location is a little bit less impacted by floods,” said Jack Monroe, who is the stadium bond chairman. “We can build this out if we adhere to codes and take measures to mitigate a flood event.”

A stadium isn’t just about sports. It can host graduations, assemblies and concerts.

Some of the money will go to an all-season surface to increase the diversity of activities.

“If you’re going to consistently use the field, it cannot be grass,” Superintendent Kevin Acuff said.

But most people will associate the stadium with sports, football in particular. Every season since 2014, when the Davis Field stadium was torn down, fans have been had to sit on portable bleachers.

The youth in Elma deserve a place to dream.

The Class of 2019 never played in a home stadium in any sport. The Class of 2020 is certain of the same end to their high school careers. For the vast majority of them, graduation will mean the end of competitive sports.

Let’s help future classes dream big, achieve and recall fondly their experiences at Elma High School.

You should have received your ballot for the February special election, which includes the Elma stadium bond issue.

The stadium bond will require a supermajority (60%) of the votes to pass.

For more information on the stadium, go to the school district’s website on the subject, elmastadium.info.

Please vote to approve the bond on or before Election Day on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Vote for a better future for Elma students.