Silvio O. Conte, Berkshire’s 16-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was good for the country, good for the county, and good for North Adams. That is why we renamed the old Drury High building for him. The Conte building has served us well as a middle school and will continue to serve well as a K-7 elementary school. Success is built, so to speak, into its genes.
Our future move into K-7 education has been vetted, and vetted, and vetted, as well such a big project should be. Over the past two years, there have been evaluations, reports, public meetings, arguments, emotions, and now -- coming up on Tuesday -- a public vote. I highly recommend a YES vote, and here is why.
From an educational point of view how wonderful it will be to have a state-of-the-art school by 2015, how wonderful it will be to have an up-to-date K-7 curriculum for that school, and how proud we will be to know that we have given our children and grandchildren the best chance we can to compete in this very competitive 21st century.
From an economic point of view how wonderful it will be to see North Adams’ downtown come alive again, and it will. There are already forces and plans in the city to do this, to which Conte as an economic stimulator, job creator, and community center will take its place next to the renovated public library, and the renovated Sprague Electric, now MASS MoCA.
In addition to the above, the city will be able to take advantage of a brand new program of the Massachusetts Department of Health called "Mass in Motion," a program aiming at developing and engineering "safe routes to school, and improving school nutrition." The new Conte could become a poster child for "North Adams in Motion."
DANIEL P. CONNERTON