High School Renovation/Addition Warrant Articles Move Forward, but Decisions Still Need to be Made
September 22, 2017
by Len Lathrop
Does tabling the decision throw another curve ball at the voters, or will they appreciate the concern for every student in the system, not just the high school?
After almost an hour of public input, both pro and con, about the renovation of the CTE center and the addition to Alvirne of a new gym and conversion of the existing gym into a performing center, on a motion by school board member Patty Langlais, the Hudson School Board voted 5-0 to table the decision on the eight additional options to the plan until after the district budget has been discussed.
Other votes taken on Monday placed the two warrant articles in motion to be on the March ballot and allow a public marketing program to get information about the project to the community. Currently called Warrant Article 1, Palmer CTE Project, has a cost at this juncture of $25 million with a state contribution of $17 million — it includes all CTE areas, AHS sprinkler system, high school art and Special Education.
Warrant Article 2, Alvirne High School Project, has a current cost of $21.5 million and is completely funded by the local community.
One caveat is that Warrant Article 1 has to pass for Warrant Article 2 to be viable.
At most school board meetings there isn’t much of an audience, but Monday saw many folks coming forward with statements and questions about the renovation/addition project. There was support for the greenhouse cost, which is one of the options tabled this week. Replacement of the tennis courts was important to several speakers, while there were questions about the academic wing of the school and its needs.
Many questions and statements dealt with confusion about the number of students needed to have a class formed. Several speakers spoke about the projects, and the importance of passing both warrant articles to bolster the education offered in Hudson, as well as to positively affect property values. With effective bonding and economies of scale, doing everything together would be a lower cost than separately.
While there are eight decisions to be made by the school board once they see the operating budget for the upcoming year, the two questions will be on the ballot in March.