Because none of us can predict the future, investing in it always entails some risk. The only safe bet is to invest in things that are of fundamental importance to an organization or a community. If they are fundamentally important today, they most likely will be tomorrow as well.
Let me illustrate the point. Just over a year ago, we at Centre undertook a $40 million bond issue in order to refinance some existing debt but largely to make possible The College Centre project. On a residential campus, the primary academic building (library, classrooms, faculty offices) and the student athletic and recreation center are fundamentally important to who we are and what we do in educating the mind and body. Is there risk involved for a small college in borrowing such a large amount of money? You bet there is. Is it an acceptable risk? Absolutely.
The City of Danville is facing a similar decision. Should it borrow $2.2 million, to be paid off over a 20-year period, in order to build a parking garage in the downtown area? In order to answer this question, we must ask ourselves: Is having a vibrant and attractive downtown fundamentally important to this community, today and tomorrow? There is only one right answer to this question. Absolutely.