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01/26/2022 07:00 AM

An Investment in the Future

On Feb. 15, Madison residents will make a decision that will affect our town for generations: the approval of $15.9 million in bonding to renovate the Academy School into a revenue generating community center.

Although some argue that our library and Senior Center negate the need for a community center, these buildings do not have space for theater, dance, art and music classes and performances. They don’t have a gymnasium for basketball and space for a farmers’ market during inclement weather or a kitchen for cooking classes.

Community centers offer family and friends the chance to really connect with one another by taking part in activities together. They provide a vital place for cross generations to interact and make new friends. Having a place to visit regularly helps community members feel less isolated. Teenagers will have a safe place to hang with their friends. The community center will also draw more people to the town center helping downtown businesses thrive. It is an investment in the future of our town.

Imagine if Madison residents had not approved the bonding needed to purchase the Surf Club years ago. Madison’s Post Road culminating in a storybook Green has become a stunning gateway to this vital town. Imagine the alternative: a modern building or a cluster of banal buildings for the use of a limited group.

Daniel Hand generously donated this building to the Town of Madison but stipulated that it always be used for education. By taking advantage of an existing historic landmark in a prime location for the enrichment of all its residents, we have an exciting opportunity and a legacy we can leave future generations. If Academy is voted down, however, it will leave an ugly hole on Madison’s landscape. It will be remembered as a colossal irreversible missed opportunity.

Kristin Morris