If the vote fails, what is Plan B?
According to Superintendent Phalen, we would need a total of 48 temporary, modular classrooms (mods) for 1,200 children, or nearly 1/4 of all 5,000 students; plus an addition to Chenery Middle School to expand the gym, cafeteria, and more; plus a renovation and addition for Belmont High School. These three projects represent more than a decade of town-wide disruption and a worse educational solution.
These three projects cost $247 million, or $34 million more than the 7-12 school.
Plan B costs more for a worse solution. More…David Zipkin
As a former Selectman, and former member of the Capital Budget Committee, I am proud of the way that current officials have achieved consensus on our current building priorities. The Building Committee has determined what is needed in a transparent process that has considered all options. Now, it is up to us, the citizens of Belmont, to affirm their work and vote to invest in our educational system. More…Ralph T. Jones
The 7-12 school will be a tremendous community asset that will address crowding at all schools and replace a facility that is undersized, lacks core instructional classrooms, needs functional lab space for STEAM curriculum, and has mechanical systems that are beyond their useful life. More…Julie Kirrane
The debt exclusion is a big ask. There is no way around it — the increase in annual taxes will be painful. However, the alternative is worse. Failing to provide adequate school buildings will have a negative effect on our property values, which are directly linked to the quality of Belmont schools. Even if we reject the 7-12 school, we still have to renovate and expand our current schools. If we reject state funding, we will spend approximately $35 million more of our own money and end up with an inferior set of buildings. More…Elizabeth Harmer Dionne
At all levels, our schools are dramatically overcrowded and spilling out into temporary, modular classrooms – 16 of them, actually.
If we build the new 7-12 school and shift a few grades, we create enough space in all of our school buildings for all of the town’s children – from kindergarten through 12th grade.
With one project, we completely solve the overcrowding problem – town-wide – for all 5,000 children.
Even without overcrowding, we would still need to replace the BHS building. It is on warning from school accreditors. It doesn’t support new state curriculum requirements. There are problems with asbestos, electrical and mechanical systems, plumbing, safety and security, the roof and windows, accessibility, and more. More…Ellen Schreiber and Sarah Masucci
Even though it is a big bill, it is not only unwise to delay, it is a rejection of our obligation to the children of our town. They deserve schools that reflect our commitment to their futures. As a community, we have a collective public responsibility to high quality education, which means solving overcrowding and updating our facilities. More…Rev. Joe Zarro
We have lived in Belmont for over 40 years and our children went through the public schools. Even when our youngest graduated from Belmont High, years ago, it was obvious that a new school building was needed. The existing space was inadequate for a 21st century education and the building systems were already at the end of their useful lives. More…Steve Klionsky and Gail Mann
After two years of community input, the Belmont High School Building Committee has helped design a high school and middle school on the same campus, with more room for hands-on learning, better disability access, and vastly improved energy efficiency.Peter Dizikes and Mary Lewis
Belmont has many things to offer, but without a capital investment in our public schools now, a best-in-class education will no longer be one of them. That will negatively impact our home values, decrease Belmont’s ability to attract great teachers, and jeopardize a school system that is one of the greatest sources of pride in our town. More…April Edrington