I am writing to say I will be voting "yes" on Issue 43 for the Upper Arlington school levy.

The average age of our buildings is about 60 years, and the infrastructure issues reflect that age. We do not have enough room for growing enrollment. We are not providing our children with access to a 21st-century learning environment.

The time has come for us to renovate and rebuild UA schools for our kids and the kids of the next generation. We are on the brink of a decision that will have a significant impact to the positive or negative. Pass the levy, and we fix all the physical issues facing our facilities, add space for increased enrollment, fund our budget to avoid teacher cuts and provide a 21st-century learning environment.

If we do not pass the levy, the current operational budget will need to fund immediate repairs, teacher positions will be cut and trailers will be required to accommodate increased enrollment while our learning environment continues to fall further behind.

There is no zero-cost option. Over two years, UA community leaders with expertise in building, finance and educations, as well as our education leadership team and experts regionally and nationally have exhausted and debated every option in hundreds of meetings.

In addition, thousands of residents have weighed in during hundreds of community engagement discussions and building committee meetings. Every resident in UA has been provided the opportunity to give feedback.

The collective recommendation for the most cost-effective ways to handle our aging buildings is what Issue 43 represents. Excellence matters!

Shawn McKenna

Upper Arlington