I write as a father, Androscoggin Teacher of the Year and taxpayer to ask my fellow community members to cast a vote in favor of Questions 1 and 2 on June 11, supporting the construction of a new Edward Little High School.

Auburn students have attended high school in a dilapidated and obsolete facility for so long that it has become normalized. The proposed new ELHS designs in Questions 1 and 2 are not excessive, but critically needed. Despite the strength of the academic programs, Auburn has never had a facility and campus that adequately accommodated, supported and celebrated academics, athletics and the arts. For too long, students have been told that inadequate is sufficient.

As taxpayers, Auburn residents have a responsibility to ensure that local students have the best educational experience possible; that this community seeks to attract families, businesses and cultural events; and that there is support for long-term investments in a place called home.

Questions 1 and 2 represent economically viable solutions to Auburn students’ immediate and long-term needs. “Yes” votes will support academic, arts, athletic and career programs that grow the community and business partnerships in a building that is designed to meet the needs of students, is environmentally responsible, generates revenue and restores a sense of pride in the community.

The New ELHS will strengthen local pride and tell students for decades to come that Auburn will help them achieve, express, connect, engage and prepare them for an ever-changing future. And that the city supports them, hoping they will choose to stay.

Shawn Rice, Auburn