I have a demonstrable record for having moved the City of Attleboro to a place of greater fiscal stability without ever asking tax payers to pay more than 2 1/2 percent. So please consider that context when I say, I believe that we need this new high school.
- The present school is an expensive liability. If any major system breaks, like the aging boiler system, for which the repairs top $10 million dollars, we will be mandated by the state to bring the entire building up to current building codes. We believe that it is only a matter of time before that happens.
- The present high school is not up to code and it is not efficient. We have classrooms with only a single wall outlet. We do not have a sprinkler system in the high school. We are not up to code regarding accessibility. Money is being wasted in trying to regulate heating in a school that has split classrooms and a sprawling building. The school system is every year spending an increasing portion of their operating budget to make necessary small repairs to the schools.
- We have a significant number of costly capital improvement projects for repairs that are queued up for the high school that would be wiped clean with the building of a new school. That would move other capital improvement projects up in the list.
- We are currently in a position to have half of this project funded by the state. If we miss this opportunity, the chances are very high that we will be funding getting the school up to code by ourselves before we make it back to the top of the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s (MSBA) project list.
- A new school will allow us to bring programs currently housed in satellite buildings back into the high school, creating the opportunity to surplus other aging buildings in the city.
It is for these reasons and many more that my administration engaged with the MSBA and why I am in support the new high school. Having said that, I am cognizant of the potential burden to our taxpayers so am actively working with my team to find ways to mitigate those effects. We will have more to say on that soon.