The physical plant at any high school includes the athletic facilities. The condition of them is important. The condition tells a story about the district.

Maybe too much emphasis is placed on the high school athletic facilities by too many people, but it’s a reality that the entire physical plant is important. The condition of the main athletic field at Washington High School sends a message of neglect and a lack of pride. The board of education is considering improvements. If the money is in the capital improvements budget, and the district can afford it, the improvements should be made.

When the track is in such a state of disrepair that WHS has to use facilities at other high schools — folks, that’s pathetic. The school can’t host track and field meets. What kind of a message does that convey to residents of the district and to other schools and their followers? The football field needs to be improved. Does WHS have a reputation of being a second-class district due to its poor facilities, including its buildings districtwide?

WHS has an athletic association, or booster group, and these adults have made some improvements over the years, saving the district money. They have worked hard, but what has been lacking overall is interest, or a continuing spirit. More volunteers are needed. A question that has been asked is, “Where is the leadership on the board, the administration, faculty, parents to assist the athletic association?” Leaders need to step forward and work to instill pride and encourage recruitment of volunteers. The superintendent needs help!

An outstanding example of a high school athletic association will be found at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School. That association has been blessed with a spirited continuity of leadership and volunteers who have accomplished remarkable feats in raising money, rolling up their sleeves and doing some heavy work themselves in providing outstanding athletic facilities. The Borgia athletic association is second to none! It pays for the athletic program!

It is time for a renewal of spirit at WHS. It’s going to take leadership and cooperation. Yes, it’s a challenge. Take a cue from Borgia. Follow that example.