LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let’s grow together Odessa

I am writing this letter to the editor to help everyone to try and envision what Odessa can and will be in future years.

We are totally blessed to have the abundance of oil and gas under our Permian Basin and Odessa is uniquely situated smack dab in the middle of it. We are the base location for tens of thousands of energy service workers that now make Odessa home and fortunately many are bringing their children to our community to be educated and contribute to our work force once they get out of their schooling years.

Whether it is ECISD, Odessa College or UTPB, we need to be able to offer the best environment we can for these kids to get that future education. We will all prosper ahead from these kids learning and then giving back to this community in some way. Like many Ector County voters, I was mystified at sticking the 9th grade students into Permian and Odessa High and then suddenly, we look up and the campuses of both high schools are massively overcrowded.

Probably not a smart move at the time, but it has been done and we all must now figure out the best way to help these kids ahead to not have to deal in that atmosphere of immense congestion. We all can be mad at decisions like that, but it doesn’t help now as we need to look to our future. A future because of our abundance of natural resources that looks to be positive and frankly welcomed for the continuing health of our community. This energy service sector will continue to be our major employment segment, but our colleges and health systems are also great diversifications for us when the day comes that those resources will have played out.

I went to Dowling Elementary back in the 1960s and believe me its footprint hasn’t changed all that much since then. These schools are old and dated and we as stewards of Odessa need to commit to those schools always being in updated conditions for the kids of our future. And for $5 per month per $100,000 home evaluation, that’s a small price to pay for bringing our schools up to that level. I am asking you today to support the bond proposals that will ensure good, quality schools for many decades to come. It is time we do this for the kids.

Kirk Edwards