As many of you are already aware our town is being asked to approve the largest capital expenditure in its history. At $78,000,000, the new high school building project will bring our town close to financial disaster. In addition to adding close to $550 to $800 depending on the interest rate obtained, the average $350,000 home will have that added on to their yearly tax bill. It will also require cutting out services in our library, senior center, police and fire departments, 33 teachers will be let go so the classes in our new school will have larger classes in the new school we are constructing.
At what cost do we need to admit that there is such a thing as too much? As a longtime citizen of Longmeadow no one realizes more than I do the vital importance of our excellent schools. Not only does it directly affect the lives of families with school-age children, but we all benefit by maintaining our property values. However, a much more reasonable renovation of our current school will provide all of the needed improvements at an affordable cost. The quality of an education has never been related to the age of a school building the goal of many of our students is to attend classes in very old, ivy covered buildings such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale. It is time for us to stand up united and say that our goal of an improved physical plant can be best met by renovating our current structure, allowing for the economic stability of Longmeadow and its citizens, as well as providing the finest education for children. This will leave us with the funds to hire the teachers that make the difference to the students futures. And, it will leave Longmeadow truly remaining the type of town that drew us all to move here in the first place.