I want to thank everyone who voted in the referendum to approve school construction. I am very pleased that it passed and gratified by your confidence in the Board of Education and school administration. Your vote will allow them to move forward with plans to expand the high school and middle school building, thus creating a true middle school of 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
The advantages for the entire district are numerous. Not only will this project alleviate over-crowding in the elementary schools, but it will also bring our schools into alignment with the State Department of Education standards. The middle school will have a separate gymnasium and learning areas, and our 6th graders will receive instruction from teachers certified in the subject areas tested on the standardized tests. The elementary schools will gain classroom space to accommodate projected enrollment increases, without the necessity of additional construction at those schools. All of these improvements will provide a learning environment to prepare our students for a successful future.
In addition to the many academic advantages, relocation of administrative and support offices away from classrooms will enhance our students’ safety and security by keeping visitors away the areas of the building that contain children.
We are especially happy that by passing the referendum at this time, we are sure to receive almost $7 million from the State toward the project’s total cost. The state’s contribution to this project, taken in combination with the fact that 65 percent of the Town’s tax base comes from Commercial and Industrial properties, equates to homeowners only being responsible for about $7.15 million or 26 percent of this project. In addition to this being an investment in our youth and preparing them to meet the demands they will face in this “information age”, having a well-respected School System keeps our property values strong and benefits all homeowners.
Again, I would like to thank you for this vote which is a strong commitment to our Town’s future!
Mayor Michael J. Gonnelli