Hagemeyer:School Needs a ‘Place to Play’ | Guest Commentary
by Dale Hagemeyer
Jul 23, 2007 | 389 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Did you know that the new Ridgway Secondary School, inaugurated just over a year ago, doesn’t have a gymnasium or music room?

The new facility has been in use for a full school year now. It is a wonderful building. Ask any student and they will tell you how much they enjoy the new building. However, escalations in the costs of building materials between when the school was planned and actually constructed led to a need to stay on budget. As a result, either the classrooms had to be scaled back or the gym and music room had to be constructed as a second phase. The “right” decision was an obvious one.

Did you know that in order to participate in music or physical education classes Ridgway Secondary School students must be bused to the elementary school on W. Clinton St.? The result is that they receive only 20 minutes of actual class time after spending most of their time going back and forth.

Did you know that there is a direct correlation between math aptitude and musical education? Today’s job market increasingly requires training in math and science.

Did you know that the obesity epidemic among school age children is partially attributed to lessening of focus on physical education in schools? Furthermore, that obesity is now the number one preventable cause of death among Americans?

And finally, did you know that efforts are under way to raise funds to build the secondary school gym and music room and thus complete the master plan that was outlined years ago? These fundraising efforts will be multifaceted including: individual donors, businesses, government and private grants, and events. You will see banners and signs beginning to pop up throughout the community. There will be a kick-off as well as other events.

The bottom line is that having musical and physical education facilities at the secondary school is a basic and necessary part of our children’s educational experience. Students need a place to play volleyball and basketball, the trombone and the piccolo. They need a place for the whole team and for the whole band and choir. They need a place to play! And once the secondary school students have a place to play, the whole community will have a place to play. This means not only watching a ball game or concert but also a community event where the venue is utilized.

During coming weeks you can look for additional information about this exciting initiative at the secondary school. There will be more details on the gym and music room: information on events, opportunities on how to get involved, updates of the progress of the initiative.

It will require an entire community to provide a “place to play” but the gym and music facilities will serve and unite the entire community.

Dale Hagemeyer is a member of the Communications Committee for the Ridgway Secondary School Gym/Music Room Funding Committee. He lives in the Pleasant Valley area of Ridgway.

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