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Madison needs a community center and the Academy School is the answer for the following reasons. First, it is located in Madison’s Historic District within walking distance to downtown. Second, a cultural center (which it would lend itself to perfectly) enhances and elevates a town. Third, the classrooms in the building are ideal for music lessons, art studios, dance studios, lectures. Why would we want to destroy 16 large classrooms, including some with 10-foot windows? There is also a gymnasium that seats 500, as well as a small auditorium that would be perfect for theatrical productions.
In reality, the Academy School is a gem just waiting to be updated so that everyone, young and old, can take advantage of its educational aspect, which is its original purpose. There are federal and state grants, fundraisers, and private and philanthropic donations available for renovation. Other community centers on the shoreline cover part of their yearly costs through revenue received from participants such as music, art, yoga, and dance instructors, who in turn charge their pupils nominal fees.
Andrew Carnegie said, “No man becomes rich unless he enriches others.” The Academy School should remain a landmark in our town, a beacon to enhance knowledge.
Richard and Marilyn Kennedy
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