Editor, Daily News

On Oct. 17, the Orange School Building Committee will hold an open house at the Dexter Park School to discuss the conditions and the warrant article that will be included on the Oct. 26 town meeting warrant. We urge the community to attend and see first-hand the state of the building, and join in the discussion. The vote on that article will decide the fate of the Dexter Park School.

If you are not currently a registered voter, the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming special town meeting is Oct. 16. Please contact the Orange town clerk at the town hall for more information. 

The school, built in the early ‘50s, is obsolete, and suffers from a variety of health, safety, operational and educational issues. It is only through the dedicated and hard work of the entire staff that our children continue to receive a quality education in this 65-plus year old Dexter Park Elementary School facility.

The warrant article proposed by the School Building Committee, with input from the town treasurer and Finance Committee chair, is seeking a debt exclusion vote for the feasibility study. The feasibility study will help the town determine the most educationally appropriate and fiscally responsible solution.

The options in front of us are:

(1) rebuild or modernize the Dexter Park School

(2) modernize/add to an existing school building (Dexter Park, Fisher Hill or Butterfield)

(3) replacement of the school on the site

(4) replacement of school at an alternative site

The state’s grant program will pay 79.5 percent ($695,625) of the estimated study cost of $875,000. The town’s 20.5 percent share will be approximately $179,375.

5 Year Amortization (feasibility cost without moving to construction)

The tax impact of the feasibility study only will be approximately $.08/$1,000 of assessed residential value. On an average single family home assessed at $146,000, that is $11.81/year.

30 Year Amortization (feasibility cost included as part overall building project)

The tax impact of the feasibility study included in the overall construction costs of the entire building project will be approximately $.02/$1,000 of assessed residential value. On an average single family home assessed at $146,000, that is $3.07/year.

Please come to the open house on Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. to learn more. The special town meeting to vote on the feasibility study is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Orange Town Hall.

My personal contact information is available through the superintendent’s office at 978-544-2920 if you would like to speak with me directly.

Bruce Scherer


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Athol, MA 01331
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