Adam Pachter: Look to the Future, Not the Past

Adam and family

Adam and family

Please vote YES on June 11th to give our kids a safe high school that will properly prepare them for this 21st century. And I say "21st century" deliberately, in response to some arguments against the rebuild I've been hearing. Here's one: "When I went to Arlington High in the [insert decade here], it was just fine, so why do you need all this money now?" Which is like saying, "When I was in my 20s I was healthy, so why should I go to the doctor in my 70s"? Both bodies and buildings age, and the last renovation was in 1981. Believe me, you don't go to the doc for 40 years, you're gonna have problems. But beyond that, educational standards have changed what passed muster in 1981 doesn't today. And that's okay; in fact, it's inevitable.

Another argument is, "Sure, the high school has problems, but why can't we just fix what's wrong - why rebuild"? And that's kinda like the car you bought 20 years ago. At first it runs great, but the years pass and things start to go wrong. Fifteen years in, they get more serious and fond memories aren't gonna keep the transmission going forever. Now picture the high school as a 20-year-old car: brakes grinding, muffler dangling, check engine light always on. You know it's never gonna pass inspection. And you could buy it back piece by pricey piece, but it still wouldn't ever run like new again. So you do the right thing and get a new car or, in this case, a new high school.

Because make no mistake, the high school right now — and I know, cause my daughter Lucy's there — isn't safe. There are halls that lead nowhere, unsecure access points, ceilings and bathrooms falling apart. Just this past year they had to shut the courtyard because of falling debris, and close school early because the classroom temperatures upstairs exceeded 100 degrees. Look, I like the old facade and the lawn too, but we're talking about our children's future here. Now's the time, and now's our chance to get the state to kick in $86 million bucks. We vote no, that money goes somewhere else. . . and there are plenty of other towns that would be happy to take it. So please vote YES on June 11. For my kids, for your kids, for our kids.

Adam Pachter