For all of us who graduated from Devils Lake Central High School in years past - you know who you are. I have a little memory trip for you to take with me.

For all of us who graduated from Devils Lake Central High School in years past - you know who you are. I have a little memory trip for you to take with me.

Remember how we fit all of grade 7 through 12 in the old school? We made do with it, even when class sizes were pretty big. Those hallways got pretty crowded when we would change classes during the day.

But we made do.

How many basketball games did the Satans play in that old gymnasium? Fans cheering them on in those aging wooden seats.

Remember when football games were played in Roosevelt Park?
I remember helping my dad, who was a janitor at Central, move the lawn sprinklers around on summer days so the grass would get nice and green.

We made do.

Remember when the college was located in the same building as the high school lunch room? Auto mechanics taught in the basement, classes in several locations in the Pershing Building and other locations around town.

We made do.

Remember when the high school band building was downtown, behind the post office?

We made do.

The Devils Lake community has proved through the years that though it can “make do” when it needs to, it also sees clearly when there is a need and provides it for their students.

Devils Lake built a beautiful college that today rivals any in the state. They saw the need and they stepped up to provide what was needed.

Devils Lake built a new high school, dividing the upper grades from the lower, providing more space and more opportunities for education. In addition a tremendous Sports Center was built for basketball, volleyball and other athletes to have the proper facilities to perform in.
Somewhere along the line the Lake Area Career and Technical Center was built to house all those programs that help flesh out education for our students in many and various ways.

Devils Lake built a beautiful football stadium and track, Roller Field, for our athletes. No longer do our football players and track stars have to compete in the city’s oldest park, but in a lovely facility complete with recently built concession stands and bathrooms.

Through the years each elementary school has had improvements done to them, including the renovations of Sweetwater School which added another gymnasium to the community’s use. Now Minnie H is the Kindergarten Center and Prairie View with Sweetwater house the grades 1 through 4. Grades 5 through 8 are educated in Central Middle School.

It is our history here in Devils Lake to “make do” as long as it is necessary, but then to see a need and provide the facilities to best serve that need.

Now we are faced with another need.

The hundreds of students in Devils Lake who participate in drama, speech, music, orchestra and chorus have been “making do” for decades.

They rehearse whenever and wherever they can beg, borrow or steal space.
Concerts take place regularly in the high school lunch room where the audience has to endure uncomfortable seating and poor acoustics.

Plays by the Firebird Players have to be shipped out, off campus, to be performed on the Lake Region State College Robert Fawcett Auditorium stage but only when and IF it is available.
Isn’t it time we address this need for all the talented young people who spend hours and hours rehearsing and perfecting their performances?

The opportunity stands before us and Superintendent Scott Privratsky, the Devils Lake School Board and the citizen’s committee behind the proposed Fine Arts Center have really done their homework.

The opportunity stands before us to help all these students have a facility the community can be proud of for their plays, performances and concerts.

In March we will be asked to vote on this issue. They are not just building it and expecting us to pick up the tab, the school board is committing $150,000 a year from the building fund to help pay for the project.

Bond interest rates for this kind of project are at a 30 - year low. State low interest (2 percent) loan is available for 90 percent of the project - that will most likely go away in the not-so-distant future. Construction costs are likely to rise but are very competitive now. This is our moment, our chance to do this for our students.

Private donations of over $400,000 have already been received for this project and more is expected to come in as the project goes forward.

In the days and months ahead I encourage all of you to read about this project. Talk about it with your family and friends. Educate yourself about why it is important to the Devils Lake community and Devils Lake High School.

Be an informed voter when March comes around.

I am a homeowner. I pay taxes just like all of you do. I see how a small investment now can reap huge rewards for our students, our school and our community.

Won't you join me in supporting this great project?