That’s the question Twin Valley School Board members have to ask themselves when it comes to maintenance and repairs of the current Twin Valley High School facility in Wilmington.
Last week we reported on school directors contemplating how much money to spend on flood-damaged athletic fields at TVHS. The dilemma, of course, is that the high school will be moving to Whitingham in a year or so. In theory, the school district won’t need those fields. At least that’s what some believe.
While the school may not use those fields after next summer, the community will certainly continue to use those fields for many years to come. Those sports field will continue be used, no question about it, particularly the lighted portion of the fields. There are no other lighted sports fields in the valley.
We understand the argument against putting additional money into the current TVHS facility, but the bottom line is the facility is still an investment owned by taxpayers, and if the taxpayers are ever to get a return on that investment, the facility will have to be maintained.
Not just the athletic fields, but the TVHS building as well. School directors know this, and have included maintenance of the facility in their long-term planning budgets.
This leads to a broader discussion of what to do with the TVHS facility once the high school relocates to Whitingham. A plan for the future of the facility will help smooth out the transition phase over the next three to five years.
We would urge a discussion among a broad cross-section of the parties who currently use the facility, or may use it in the future: Twin Valley School Board, Wilmington Selectboard, Deerfield Valley Farmer’s Day Fair Association, csommunity center champions, Deerfield Valley Health Center officials, neighboring towns, and anyone else who may see a potential use for the building and grounds around it.
Granted, it means more meetings, but we would encourage the same broad planning effort that went into the school facility planning done for the use of the high school facility after Twin Valley moves out.
Plotting a course won’t be easy, and it won’t always be smooth. But it needs to be done. Planning for the future means the future won’t come as a surprise.