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New Hampton needs to say yes to referendum

As a New Hampton High School graduate who has worked as a coach in the school district for the past 25 years and owns and operates a business in my hometown, I would really like to urge all residents of the school district to "vote yes" in the Feb. 7 school bond referendum.I believe that we as a community must continue to move forward and must invest in our young people, and the upcoming referendum will allow us to do just that.I realize that the new middle school won't look a lot like the middle school I and my classmates attended, but that's OK; in fact, that's better than OK. Schools have changed in the last 30 years; heck, they've changed in the last 10 years, and the proposal put together by the committee is a good one because it's one that will give our students the 21st century education that they not only deserve but need to continue to make New Hampton a progressive, forward-thinking city.The middle school is much needed because it will allow us to get out of the parts of the 1913 building that haven't changed hardly at all in the last 104 years.Having a new competition gym is important, too, and I think gives us a chance to bring even more people to town for youth and high school tournaments. I have coached wrestling for the last 25 years, and this year, we took part in a two-day tournament in Independence. People not only stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants and filled up their gas tanks that weekend but they also spent time shopping in Independence.We'd love to have a tournament like that in New Hampton, but we just don't have the space to bring that many teams and that many fans to our school.The bottom line is that New Hampton needs to say yes to this bond referendum. It will show everyone that we are progressive and looking to the future. Generations before us voted to invest in our schools and our community, and now, it's time for us to do the same. Vote yes on Feb. 7.

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