Duxbury residents got a chance to express their concerns about the new co-located middle/high school, Wednesday night during a presentation by the school building committee.
The $128 million project will take two years to build the joint school. Though the town is working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority to help with funding, the new school will cost tax payers an additional 11% for the next 25 years.
Greg Hunter, a Duxbury resident, expressed disappointment that the conditions of the current buildings have left no alternative for renovation, “So shame on us for not doing any of these repairs over the last 30 years. Now we’re building two new schools–what are we then doing in addition to this on an on-going basis to make sure then we don’t let Alden and Chandler go into disrepair because we’re putting every penny the town has at its disposal into this building?”
Superintendent Tantillo stated that the town is working on a five year plan to prioritize school building needs in order to maintain other schools.
Another resident asked how the new joint school will be able to accommodate future students if the town population grows or decreases.
Superintendent Tantillo explained that the three-floor building was designed to adjust with student population, “The rule of thumb for buildings is that you build for 85% capacity. So at any given time there is 10% to 15% of classrooms available for the bubble or a case down the road if there’s a large turnover of homes and we get more younger kids and they come up.”
Duxbury is following the MSBA’s model school program which will help reimburse approximately 45% of the project. The new co-located school is not set in stone yet; the project must pass a double vote at town meeting and then a ballot vote in November.