WHS Renovation Decision: Are you ready?
Do you have enough information to make an informed decision about the December 10 debt exclusion override ballot question regarding Winchester High School?
Since June, we, the members of the Educational Facilities Planning and Building Committee (EFPBC), along with the Communications Working Group, have provided media articles and a variety of other resources to inform residents about this historic project. Click on any of the hotlinks below to read more.
The project is designed to address three critical needs for our community: an increasing enrollment; an obsolete building infrastructure; and an educational program whose needs are no longer supported by the current physical layout. The comprehensive rebuilding of WHS would address all three goals, at a cost that takes advantage of state financial aid now available. If voters approve Winchester’s share of funding in next month’s election, the project would be completed by fall 2017 with $85.4M from Winchester and $44.5M from the state (MSBA), a project valued at $129.9M. If the override is not approved and Winchester does not have a comprehensive solution for WHS, we must still address pressing and expensive repairs to the facility, likely without MSBA support.
Be An Informed Voter
To participate in the December 10th ballot question, Winchester residents have until November 20th to register to vote. Absentee ballots are also available at the Town Clerk’s office after November 18th. (Read more here)
WHS Project Communications Working Group, consisting of representatives of the EFPBC, School Committee, Board of Selectmen and the Superintendent of Schools and Town Manager have been engaged in providing information to prepare citizens to vote on December 10. It is not too late to learn about the project:
- Learn more about the project and the almost three years of analysis and background behind the proposed plan and design. Read up on every aspect of the proposed design.
- Explore frequently asked questions (FAQs), calculate the potential impact to your taxes, and read documents submitted to the MSBA from our Architect SMMA.
- E-mail a question to email@example.com. To receive e-mail updates, send an e-mail with “contact list” in the subject line to the same address.
- Attend any of the informational events highlighted in the Upcoming Events ( shown to the right). All are open to all residents.
- See the current WHS facility first hand! Sign up for the last tour on Saturday, December 7 at 9:30 am by clicking on the “take a tour” button . Or watch the video tour, also available on the web site.
- Watch video or Read up on Recent News regarding the project
Finally, pleaseread the series of articles that have been published in the media this fall, each addressing one aspect of the project. For instance:
1. Costs; Meeting Three Goals: EFPBC member Charles Tseckares and the Communications Working Group outlined project costs and provided information regarding the financial and educational consequences if funding for the project is not approved.
2. Failing Building; Phasing: School Committee Member (and architect) Chris Nixon addressed the ways in which the facility’s aging and inflexibility has rendered it obsolete – and non-compliant with seismic, disability access, fire and other building codes. EFPBC and School Committee member, Cindy Bohne detailed how the project might be phased over the three academic years of the project
3. Enrollment; Educational Program: Superintendent McAlduff authored an article describing how a renovated WHS must accommodate projected enrollment of 1,313 students by 2017 – an increase of 44.8% over 2000. WHS Principal Tom Gwin and the high school leadership team wrote about how the proposed project would rebuild the academic pods to create space that promotes educational values like critical thinking, creativity and effective communication.
A Collaborative Effort
We’d like to thank the countless groups who have contributed over the past two years to make this a collaborative effort: Town Manager’s Office, Superintendent of Schools, Energy Management Committee, Sustainability Committee, Design Review Committee, Planning Board, Finance Committee, Town Meeting Members, School Parent Associations, faculty and staff of Winchester High School, Board of Selectmen and School Committee.