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On Nov. 7, Hammond voters' support for the Vote Yes for Hammond Schools Referendum Initiative became a reality.

Through your efforts, the School City of Hammond moved another step forward into providing 21st century quality education for students in the Hammond public schools.

This initiative will also have a positive impact overall in the Hammond community as well. Our gratitude is extended to everyone who supported this cause.

We further acknowledge and appreciate the support of Mayor Thomas McDermott and Indiana House Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond.

The goal of the referenda is intended to provide a new school facility replacing the 100-year-old Hammond High School. In addition, it will provide upgrades in all schools across the district regarding technology, safety, security and capital improvements.

Another phase to the referenda will help attract and maintain highly qualified personnel to work with our students, continue to provide transportation to general ed students and bring technologically focused programs to our schools so Hammond graduates will be considered competitive upon graduation.

All of these efforts are intended to help further support the growth and quality of life in our community.

The Hammond Board of School Trustees and the entire staff and administration of the school city are pleased and proud of the support given to us by the majority number of yes votes.

We are eagerly looking forward to taking on the challenges identified in the referendum that will move the school city and community into the 21st century.

Walter Watkins is superintendent of School City of Hammond. The opinions are the writer's.