I write to express my wholehearted support for the proposed new elementary school. As a dedicated advocate for educational programming, parent of three students and concerned citizen, I believe a “yes” vote on the Elmwood School project is crucial for the continued success of our community. I aim to provide compelling factual information regarding key aspects of this project.
The estimated cost of the project is daunting at $158 million, but it’s essential to understand the breakdown. This figure encompasses both construction ($125 million) and soft costs ($34 million), including the feasibility study, furniture, technology and contingency. The committee that has been working — in public meetings — for two years has identified ways to maximize the contribution from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, totaling approximately $61 million of eligible costs. So, the taxpayer burden is down to under $97 million. Rejecting this project would place the total financial burden on the town, but there is funding available because of work by school/town administration, the School Committee and the ESBC. MSBA funding has been pursued since 2008 due to space constraints and Elmwood’s assessment of end of life.
Voting against the Elmwood project would lead to significant consequences: renting modular classrooms at over $1 million per school year, per classroom; loss of all art, science and music spaces to be used as classrooms; additions or modular classrooms needed at Hopkins, the middle school and the high school; tighter lunch rooms with lunch starting earlier in the day; heavier used playgrounds in already tight spaces; and possible loss of the teachers who make our schools so successful as working conditions deteriorate.
Approaching November 13th, where we need to be present to vote, it’s essential to make fair, informed decisions about the Elmwood project. I urge those who have not been involved in the evolution of this important town endeavor to read the elmwoodproject.com website, reach out to a member of the ESBC via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or attend an upcoming community forum (listed on the website, or contact the committee to request an information session).
A “yes” vote signifies support for a larger facility at advantageous cost to our community. Let’s secure Hopkinton’s continued position at the forefront of educational excellence by approving this essential project on November 13th!
Thank you for supporting the continued success of our schools and the success of our children. Strong schools = strong communities.
— Jamie Wronka, Hopkinton
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