West Bridgewater’s 60-year old middle/senior high school is on its last leg and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges have noticed, calling the school a ‘tired facility’.
Amongst a list of problems are an unreliable heating system and lack of handicap compliance, and the association gave the school a warning that if they don’t update the facility West Bridgewater will lose its accreditation.
Jonathan Ames, who is a recent West Bridgewater graduate, explains a high school’s accreditation is a huge factor in a college application, “We have a bunch of School of Choice kids coming in from Brockton, Bridgewater, Raynham just to be in this school. We have people who have literally moved here to be in this school system; they’re willing to change their whole lifestyle to be a part of this school because it’s such a miraculous school from where they came before.”
A new $64 million middle/senior high school will be proposed at town meeting in October. But regardless of the price tag, residents spoke at a public forum Tuesday night in favor of the project.
“I will not have children in the school to benefit, but from all the meetings I’ve sat in as often as I can, I don’t think we have a decision. We have to do it,” said one woman.
The project has been approved by the Mass School Building Authority, which will reimburse about 54% of the cost. Even so, the average homeowner’s tax bill will increase the first year of the loan by about $650.
West Bridgewater’s Special Town Meeting is October 1st. The purchases also requires a 2-1/2 override ballot vote, election day for the town is October 6th.