I would like to inform the voters in Wilmington and Whitingham of the work being done by the facilities committee. In June, the Twin Valley School Board decided to direct the facilities committee to investigate the possibility of renovating the current site of the high school in Wilmington. This was decided upon because of the straw vote held back in November 2008, where option one showed the most support.
We came up with a figure of $5 million to $6 million and charged the facilities committee with the challenge of investigating if the renovation could be accomplished with that amount of money. Renovation could include tearing down the 1900 building, renovating the 1950 and 1980 buildings, or constructing new buildings. The answers to how the site would be renovated will be coming in the next few months.
Along with the decision to pursue this option, the board wished to continue its research on the K-12 collaboration question. This is an idea that was brought up to the voters on Town Meeting. The collaboration being looked at is combining the Wilmington and Whitingham elementary schools at the DVES site in Wilmington and moving the high school to the Whitingham site. The costs of this option is unknown at this point but it will certainly require renovations of both sites in Wilmington and Whitingham.
It is the board’s goal to have a vote in January to decide which of these options the voters want to pursue, and possibly go to a bond vote in March. The specifics of these two options will be available by early January and informational meetings will be held as soon as more facts and figures are gathered.
In the meantime, I am encouraging the voters to offer input to the school boards. Please attend board meetings and facilities meetings and lend your opinions, thoughts, and, hopefully, some encouragement.
We (the voters) have to make a decision and get this facilities problem behind us so we can work on making Twin Valley School a desirable and attractive academic education facility for us and other communities to send their children.