I’ve been an educator for over 20 years, teaching in a variety of programs. I put myself through graduate school by teaching and work with English language learners at Yale. I design and teach after school art courses in public schools, and that work has taken me to schools in Holyoke as well, including Holyoke High School and Dean Tech — and Peck. Having worked at Peck, I have seen, first-hand, what the School Facilities Report details: Peck is outdated and absolutely does not meet the needs of our student population.
We can not afford not to invest in these schools, both for the health of our community and for the value of our real estate. We are all wary of additional taxes, and hope to see more conversations from the city about creative solutions for those who might be most adversely impacted and for whom additional expenses may be prohibitive. We must be mindful as well about the impact of additional costs on the increasingly difficult residential rental market in Holyoke; increases such as these are often directly passed on to renters to absorb. But over time, we will see operating costs decrease as we move toward more efficient use of utilities and resources, and we will be able to keep more students from Holyoke in Holyoke schools instead of having them choice out of the city for education elsewhere. We will be able to directly invest in the both the city’s infrastructure and its future through this building project, and I intend to vote YES in November on our ballot question.