It is with enthusiasm that the board of directors of the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce (SRCC) unanimously supports the Owosso Public Schools bond proposal. We support the proposal because we feel it is important to the future growth of our region. The school district has enlisted the assistance of parents, teachers, community and government officials, and local business leaders to create a proposal that meets the needs of our developing workforce, addresses the concerns of aging building infrastructure, and shows a commitment to the students of our future.
As pointed out by economist William Fruth, “Many times it is not the ability of a community to become prosperous, but the willingness to… When a primary employer is examining a community, it will review the current industries to determine if a potential workforce is available. If it requires an array of highly skilled people who can be trained to perform its specific tasks, and such a workforce is not present, it will not locate in the area.”
One of the core beliefs of the SRCC is that a strong education is itself an economic development tool. This bond proposal allows our educators, who have already done a tremendous job utilizing the resources they currently have, the ability operate on a platform that will take Owosso into the next generation. SRCC Board of Directors Chairman Jay Slingerland expressed the board’s viewpoint: “The board supports this initiative unanimously. The community visioning team has done an outstanding job gaining input from the community to plan a great project that will serve the community for many years to come.”
The current middle school building has outlived its life as an educational facility and can be utilized in a number of different ways. There has been interest from developers who can repurpose the space into new uses, all of which would benefit the downtown. Creating a combined middle/high school campus with distinct separation will create efficiencies in food service and transportation, and give our performing arts and vocational education students better learning and performing spaces. It will be energy and maintenance efficient and align with the current student population.
We urge you to vote “yes” on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Jeff Deason, President/CEO Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce