To the editor:
A successful region-wide majority vote on Saturday, April 8 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), of the residents of the seven towns in the Central Berkshire Regional School District — Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor — will kick off an 18-month communities-guided feasibility and planning process culminating in detailed biddable construction plans for our near-future high school students at Wahconah Regional (built 1961) and for generations of their younger brothers and sisters.
It has taken dedicated staffers at the school and at the regional office of the CBRSD and teachers, parents and residents like you and me 10 years of working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to earn this opportunity. The state will pay half or thereabouts of all our costs of the 18-month plan, and then if we vote again to move forward, to the rehabilitation and/or new construction that will proceed from this complete plan.
This opportunity will not come again for our seven towns for a long time, if ever, if we turn down this generous state funding assistance offer. There is only so much money in the MSBA budget each year to launch and follow through on school building projects in Massachusetts.
The plan will be closely guided all the way by a currently existing 20-person working committee of residents from throughout the seven towns, including two sophomores from Wahconah.
The complete planning process, resulting in construction documents, will only cost the average property-tax payers in the regional district approximately $100, which will be spread over our property taxes for five years, with the state matching our contribution dollar for dollar (and a tad more). For those homes valued below the average, the total amounts and spread will be lower. For those homes valued above the average, higher, but in no case exorbitant.
Give the children in the seven Central Berkshire towns the opportunity to have a long overdue enhanced high school experience and education, that only comes only once in a lifetime for them, and for many lifetimes after them.
Vote yes on Saturday in your town at your local polling station and make this happen — for the children in our community and for us all.