When we consider the importance of quality schools in a community, we know right away the critical role of excellent school systems to develop our children academically and socially. We recognize the value of our community schools as they graduate generations of our children and produce citizens who will serve and lead our community, our country, and our world. In considering quality schools in Ann Arbor, we know the Ann Arbor name represents an exceptional education; our current students, alumni, and our community are evidence of the excellence embodied in the name: Ann Arbor Public Schools.
At the same time, we also recognize the tremendous treasure we have in our Ann Arbor Public School buildings. Thanks to the generations before us who have provided investments in building neighborhood schools to support our children, we are the stewards of 36 buildings, ranging from 6 years to over 100 years in age. Our physical properties comprise more than 3 million square feet; they are a responsibility with which we have been entrusted by the generations who came before us, and they represent an investment exceeding $500 million in value. At an average age of 55 years, our schools have recorded approximately 2,000 years of service to Ann Arbor students. Our public school buildings represent both the rich history and the bright future of Ann Arbor.
Functional, well-maintained, and high-performing schools form a priority indicator as to the health and vibrancy of a community; the presence of quality public schools prove a ‘pulse point’ within a city and across a region. Schools are a primary attraction for relocation to the area and directly impact real estate value. Investing in maintaining our physical properties is both a community priority and a shared responsibility. Keeping our schools updated, in sound working order and ensuring they are sustainable places to deliver education, both for today’s students and for the generations to come, pays forward the public trust that has been provided to us by those who came before. The responsible care taking of our school buildings is an important priority in ensuring that we continue the legacy of quality that is Ann Arbor.
I know we are proud of our Ann Arbor students, our beautiful school buildings, and the important role they serve within our vibrant Ann Arbor community. Please join me in voting on November 5 . Our children, and their children, are counting on us.
Jeanice K. Swift
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