Picturing a new Grafton High

I have images, courtesy of SMMA, the project architects, of all the site plans and schematic designs, in a gallery on GraftonTimes.com. They’re all clickable so you can make ’em bigger to peer at details. It’s better, of course, to actually look at the things at a public meeting, where there are generally architects to actually explain things, but this will have to suffice as the next best thing.

I was surprised, at the last meeting, to hear both School Building Committee members and the Grafton Education Alliance note that they are still talking to people who have absolutely no idea that the high school is NOT a done deal… and then there was a complaint that people just aren’t able to get information about the project.

Hello? Where are they looking? Clearly, it’s not GraftonTimes.com, where I’ve been writing about it constantly. Why aren’t they going to meetings, or calling town officials or doing something besides saying “huh, I’d sure like to know more about that.”

So, let’s recap:

  • There is a 900-student high school proposed for Providence Road, between the current GHS and the Municipal Center.
  • We do not have a project cost at the current time, but the figure they threw out for construction costs back in August was over $63 million.
  • The school still requires a 2/3 vote from Town Meeting, which will likely be held in January. Building the school will require a Prop. 2 1/2 override or debt exclusion.
  • A townwide ballot vote is required after that. That will be a simple majority vote.
  • The new school, as opposed to an addition/renovation, will solve space issues systemwide. Grades 9-12 will go to the new high school, Grades 7-8 move to the old high school, Grades 5-6 go to Grafton Middle School and the remaining grades will be redistributed in the three elementary schools.
  • I’m not going to get more specific about the elementary grades because there are a lot of variables, among them full-day kindergarten, which Grafton does not currently have.
  • How is this going to affect your property tax bill? Figures are not yet available.

The Grafton Education Alliance has a FAQ on their website and is hosting neighborhood meetings to discuss the new school.

Questions! When you have them, ask them instead of complaining you have no idea what’s going on!

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