To the editor:
June 12 is coming up fast and the citizens of the town of Winslow will be given the opportunity to vote on an $8.1 million school bond to give us the final opportunity to move out of the long standing junior high and move into an updated and more efficient facility that will be built in a two-year period. I will be voting yes on the project and let me give you some background on this decision. Approximately two-and-a-half years ago I started to attend meetings on the recommendation of what to do with the Junior High.
At the time I thought the best process would be to have a K-8 program at the elementary school and just have a high school with an expanded auditorium. After attending these meetings, I was asked to join the building committee on the formation. During this long, time consuming process with 26-plus people from our community and countless hours of analysis, it became very clear that the best benefit for all programs in the school and for the existence of other outside programs such as Winslow Rec (and other sport programs), having the elementary school become a K-8 would not suffice. Field space would be lost, gym space would be limited, and even with an expansion to the K-8, the setup would not be best possible fit for the elementary school and more investment would be required even after the expansion was done, costing taxpayers even more money in the future.
The high school option gives the taxpayers the best option of everything. An expanded gym, classroom space for junior high students, a cafeteria that will be able to serve the entire student body, and an auditorium that is less than what we have now but that barely exceeds the state minimum standards of state of Maine buildings. The efficiencies will provide savings to the school and in return, these savings will be passed onto the taxpayers in reducing the bond every year, for many years even after the bond is repaid.
Certain town council members have been giving the public incomplete facts and estimates, while using town resources to convey these inaccuracies. By voting no, taxpayers will be paying more in the future for school expansion due to the rising costs of materials such as steel and pure inflationary costs of raw material. Interest rates are increasing, and time is working against us in the existing junior high. Let us not delay, time is against us. Join me in voting yes to move Winslow forward and place our biggest investment into our infrastructure and our students that will continue to return dividends to us, the taxpayers, in the future.
Cory W. Dow